By signing into law H.R. 3519, the "Global AIDS and Tuberculosis Relief Act of 2000," President Clinton is launching our latest U.S. effort in the long-term fight against HIV/AIDS and its related threat of tuberculosis. This bill authorizes funding for the Administration's FY 2001 international HIV/AIDS initiatives and will strengthen our response to the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. The bill also authorizes new funding for the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) and the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and authorizes the creation of a World Bank AIDS Trust Fund.
The bill authorizes:
- $300 million for USAID development assistance programs, including primary prevention and education, voluntary testing and counseling, prevention of mother-to-child transmission, and care for those living with HIV or AIDS;
- $50 million for GAVI and $10 million for IAVI to accelerate the development and delivery of vaccines; and
- $60 million for international Tuberculosis Control.
The bill also authorizes the creation of a World Bank AIDS Trust Fund to provide grants to hard hit countries for AIDS prevention, care and education over a two-year period.
This legislation builds on the Administration's LIFE Initiative (Leadership and Investment in Fighting an Epidemic), an aggressive response to the global AIDS pandemic. The United States has invested more than $1.4 billion in international AIDS programs since the start of the epidemic.
- President Clinton is asking Congress for an increase of $100 million -- to $342 million -- for international AIDS prevention and care in FY 2001, more than double the FY 99 level. Funds will be targeted to the countries where the disease is most widespread, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Priorities include: stepped up primary AIDS prevention efforts; care and treatment for those infected; care for children orphaned by AIDS, and strengthening the public health infrastructure that can prevent and control the disease.
- On January 10, 2000, Vice President Gore chaired the first-ever United Nations Security Panel session on a health issue -- HIV/AIDS as an international security threat.
- On May 10, 2000, the President signed an Executive Order to help make HIV/AIDS-related drugs and medical technologies more affordable and accessible in beneficiary sub-Saharan African countries. Last month, the pharmaceutical industry announced an initiative to reduce prices for anti-retroviral drugs for developing countries.
- The Peace Corps announced that all 2,400 Peace Corps volunteers serving in 25 countries in Africa will be trained as educators of HIV/AIDS prevention and care.
- In his State of the Union address, President Clinton announced the Millennium Vaccine Initiative to accelerate the development of malaria, TB, and AIDS vaccines -- vaccines for which there is an enormous need, but little market incentive for industry to develop. The initiative calls for:
- $50 million in the President's FY2001 budget as a contribution to the vaccine purchase fund of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI);
- presidential leadership to ensure that the World Bank and other multilateral development banks dedicate an additional $400 million to $900 million annually of their low-interest rate loans to health care services;
- significant increases in basic research on diseases that affect developing nations; and
- $1 billion tax credit for sales of vaccines for malaria, TB and AIDS to accelerate their development and production.
- The Clinton-Gore Administration made global AIDS and infectious diseases a top priority at the U.S.-European Union Summit in Portugal in May and last month's G-8 Summit in Okinawa, where billions were mobilized from our G-8 partners.
Domestically, the Administration has increased funding for care and treatment through the Ryan White Care Act by close to 350 percent and nearly doubled funding for research and prevention since 1993. In the President's FY 2001 budget request, including:
- funding for the Ryan White CARE Act, which helps cities and states care for those living with HIV and AIDS is increased by $125 million, or 8 percent to $1.719 billion;
- AIDS prevention funding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is increased by $65 million to $795 million;
- AIDS research funding to the National Institutes of Health is increased by $89 million to $2.1 billion;
- funding for substance abuse services targeting those at highest risk of HIV infection is increased by $6 million to $128 million; and
- the Housing Opportunities for People With AIDS (HOPWA) Program at the Department of Housing and Urban Development is increased to $260 million, 12 percent more than last year.
In addition, the President has proposed to fully fund the $750 million authorized for the Ricky Ray Hemophilia Trust Fund, which provides one-time, $100,000 relief payments to hemophiliacs who contracted HIV from blood solids during the 1980s, and to their eligible family members.
Facts on HIV/AIDS and other Infectious Diseases in Developing Countries:
- Last year, AIDS killed 2.8 million people in worldwide and is now the single leading cause of death in Africa; HIV-infection rates are soaring in parts of Asia, and Eastern Europe.
- In Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa, one half of all 15-year-olds will die of AIDS.
- Thirteen million sub-Saharan African children have now lost one or both of their parents to AIDS; the number will reach 40 million by the end of the decade.
- Over 8 million children die each year of diseases like malaria, TB, and diarrheal diseases -- more than 3 million of these deaths could be prevented by existing vaccines.
- Tuberculosis is the single biggest infectious disease killer of adults worldwide and is the leading cause of death of persons with AIDS.
- Immunization is one of the most cost effective health interventions. It costs only $15 to immunize a child, yet in developing countries, children remain 10 times more likely to die of a vaccine-preventable disease than those in the industrialized world. Twenty percent of children worldwide lack access to basic immunization services.
- Only 2 percent of all global biomedical research is devoted to the major killers in the developing world.