Bush Administration Expected To Announce Five-Year Strategy for Global AIDS Initiative
U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Randall Tobias on Monday is expected to outline details of the Bush administration's five-year, $15 billion global AIDS initiative, the New York Times reports (Marquis, New York Times, 2/22). Bush in May 2003 signed into law a bill authorizing the initiative (HR 1298), which seeks to prevent seven million new HIV infections, provide care for 10 million people living with the disease and provide treatment to two million HIV-positive people living in some African and Caribbean countries (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/24/03). Tobias is expected to outline the administration's plans for a rapid expansion of treatment, prevention and care programs in 15 countries. The Bush administration has said it is preparing to meet the goal of spending $15 billion over five years for the initiative. While AIDS advocates have welcomed the money to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic, critics of the plan have questioned whether a new program is necessary when the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has already been established. In addition, some Republicans in Congress have said that budget deficit concerns could result in lower-than-expected funding, and some political analysts have questioned whether the United States' commitment to the initiative will continue after the 2004 presidential campaigns and the "current spending spree" on anti-terror initiatives, the Times reports (New York Times, 2/22). Secretary of State Colin Powell and HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson are scheduled to deliver opening remarks prior to the announcement (State Department release, 2/20).
A webcast of the press conference will be available online from kaisernetwork.org by 2:00 pm on Monday.
A fact sheet outlining federal funding for HIV/AIDS in Bush's FY 2005 budget request is available online. The fact sheet includes an overview of the total federal budget request for HIV/AIDS as well as key highlights of domestic and international allocation requests.