POLICY PROJECT NEWS
Only Stronger U.S. Leadership Can End the AIDS Epidemic
Existing treatment and prevention techniques could prevent millions of new HIV infections and deaths from AIDS—but only if Obama sustains funding.
This article was first published on 24 July 2012 in theAtlantic.com
Letter to President Obama on Proposed FY 2013 Budget Cut to PEPFAR
March 1, 2012 - Dear Mr. President, As representatives of organizations that advocate for an evidence-based and robust response to global AIDS, we respond to your fiscal year 2013 budget request for the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)—the flagship bilateral AIDS program—with shock and dismay. A proposed reduction of more than 10 percent to this lifesaving program is completely inconsistent with your bold leadership statement on World AIDS Day, with its commitment to scale up HIV treatment to an additional two million people by 2013 and prevention of mother to child transmission interventions for an addition 1.5 million pregnant women, to move forward to realize the goal of an AIDS-free generation. A $546 million proposed reduction in the PEPFAR budget will clearly translate into lives lost, scores of preventable infections, and services denied to orphans and vulnerable children.
Obama’s Global, Domestic & HIV Research FY 2013 Budget Backslides on Existing Commitments
Proposed Cuts to President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Would Prevent 500,000 People from Starting on Life-saving HIV Treatment
— President’s 2013 Budget Weakens U.S. Leadership on Fighting HIV Globally and Domestically —
NEW YORK, NY —Thursday, 16 February 2012. Treatment Action Group (TAG) is deeply disappointed by President Obama’s proposed cuts to PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) and bilateral TB funds, freezing of NIH (National Institutes of Health) research as well as the insufficient attention to the worsening domestic AIDS crisis in the administration's fiscal year 2013 budget plan. “This senselessly harsh budget will directly contribute to millions of preventable illnesses and deaths among people living with HIV, hepatitis C, and TB in the U.S. and around the world.” said Mark Harrington, Executive Director of TAG, “Why does President Obama want to turn his back on the most effective, life-saving global health and development program in history?"
Letter to Secretary Clinton on the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria
7 February 2011 - Dear Secretary Clinton, We write to ask for your leadership in ensuring The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria is “open for new business,” saving lives through expanding programming in 2012. We ask that you convene an emergency donor meeting in advance of the July International AIDS Conference to re-invigorate the U.S. three-year commitment of $4 billion and use it to leverage commitments from other donors to the Global Fund. We also urge you and President Obama to use your political leadership — and the bipartisan support for The Global Fund — to achieve the U.S. pledge in 2013 without sacrificing any funding from essential bilateral AIDS, TB, and Malaria programs, which would undermine the game changing targets you and the president set at the end of last year.
Forgotten But Not Gone: Childhood TB Advocacy Meeting
On Thursday January 5, 2012, TAG held a Childhood TB Federal Advocacy Meeting in Washington, D.C. The meeting was co-sponsored by STOP TB, RESULTS/ACTION, the Center for Global Health Policy and the American Thoracic Society (ATS). Click here for presentation slides and advocacy links.
Let’s Redouble our Commitment to Cure AIDS!
1 December, 2011 - The debate over the federal budget and deficit reduction gets more heated each year. But on this World AIDS Day, the benefits of federal investment in research are incontrovertible. As documented earlier this year, for the ﬁrst time in history, a cure for AIDS is possible. One man’s HIV infection has been eradicated using a HIV-resistant immune cell transplant—a concept based on discoveries ﬁrst made by researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the 1990’s. For millions around the world this discovery is incredibly encouraging, despite the fact that this type of treatment would be difficult, costly, and too dangerous for widespread implementation. With the new scientific breakthrough, some of the smartest, most experienced scientists and new young investigators are employing cutting edge technologies and working tirelessly to discover and develop a safe, effective, feasible, and scalable HIV cure. We need Congress to increase funding for NIH for AIDS research in order to build on this momentum.
AIDS Research: Broad Health and Economic Benefits
July 2011 - Investments in health research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have paid enormous dividends in the health and well-being of people in the U.S. and around the world. HIV and AIDS research supported by NIH has yielded important recent advances and holds great promise for significantly reducing HIV infection rates and providing more effective treatments for people living with HIV/AIDS.
Back to Basics: HIV AIDS Advocacy as a Model for Catalyzing Change
July 2011 - TAG's Mark Harrington is featured in this publication from FasterCures.org. This report highlights how people affected by HIV rallied together and created an advocacy movement that demanded change and got results. The milestones of this movement include transforming the research system through patient-driven clinical trials, improving the regulatory paradigm through expanded and accelerated access mechanisms, and garnering political will needed to support federal investment in research and care. Ultimately, its most significant accomplishment was transforming HIV/AIDS from a death sentence to a chronic, manageable illness as long as access to medicines following diagnosis is assured. It is co-authored by FasterCures and HCM Strategists.
We CAN End the AIDS Epidemic
June 2011 - For the first time in the 30 years of the HIV epidemic, there is now conclusive evidence showing that earlier initiation of highly active combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) at 350-550 CD4 cells is a highly powerful tool for preventing transmission to sex partners and has clinical benefit for HIV-positive people. Now is the time to change the approach to the epidemic.
Bolder Action Needed by Donor Nations, Less Rhetoric in Fight against HIV/AIDS
June 2011 - TAG Statement on the U.N. High Level Meetings on HIV/AIDS Outcome Document - Treatment Action Group (TAG) calls on donor nations to affirm their commitment to HIV/AIDS by setting robust time-bound treatment targets, advocating for the elimination of legal barriers to access of treatment and care and by insisting on the protection of marginalized and vulnerable populations affected by HIV/AIDS.
Congressman Stark Introduces Bill to Tax Big Banks for Global Health, Climate, Deficit
February 2011 - Dear President Obama, We, the undersigned faith, labor, environmental, health, education and development organizations, write to urge you to join with French President Nicholas Sarkozy and a growing number of other world leaders and members of Congress in support of a miniscule tax on speculative financial transactions.
TAG Recommendations on Clinical Trials Network Restructuring
Jan 2011 - Treatment Action Group outlines issues of concern and questions about network restructuring research priorities and network structure. Below are the overarching recommendations that we’d like to make regarding the future of HIV therapeutics, HCV and TB/HIV clinical research agenda priorities during the next funding cycle.