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Action Alert: Global AIDS Funding

By John S. James

August 24, 2001

It is especially important now for U.S. citizens to let their two Senators know they are concerned about funding to control AIDS and other infectious diseases around the world. The Democrats have been worse on this issue than the Republicans -- not because they are opposed, but because they do not think people care. Calls before Labor Day are most important. But it never hurts to let Congress know that their constituents care about AIDS in Africa and elsewhere, and infectious diseases everywhere.


An August 20 alert from the Treatment Action Network of Project Inform summarizes the situation:

"On April 26th, 2001, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan launched the 'Global AIDS and Health Fund'. This international fund is intended to treat and prevent HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria for those without access to medicine, health care, and prevention programs.

"This spring, President Bush pledged a $200 million contribution to this fund. While a small step forward, this amount falls well short of the $2 billion asked of the United States and lowered the bar for other contributors. Major donors have scaled back their contributions and the momentum has slowed. Advocates have turned to Congress to increase this pledge.

"While the process hasn't finished in the House of Representatives or the Senate, it appears that the House will approve about the same amount as the President has pledged. It is critical that the Senate propose a much larger amount. The House and Senate will have to meet to negotiate a final amount to send to the President for approval. To prepare for these negotiations, it is crucial that the Senate come to the table with a large number, rather than the smallest!

"Constituent pressure is essential to ensure that elected officials make the global AIDS crisis a priority. If everyone who cares about the international AIDS epidemic meets with, calls, or writes a letter to their Senators this month, we could have a major impact in focusing their attention on this issue. Please take a few minutes to respond to this alert!

. . . "You can find contact information for your two U.S. Senators by accessing their individual Web sites through the main U.S. Senate website. Go to, then click 'List Senators By State.' You'll find links to both of your Senators underneath your state. Each Web site will have Washington and district phone, fax, and mailing addresses."


  1. It is best to avoid email to political offices unless you know that they are prepared to include email in their counts of public opinion on issues. If you do email your Senators, include your street address so they will know it is coming from a constituent. You might call their office and ask if email is a good way to communicate with them -- or if you should write or call instead.

  2. This alert is intended for the month of August (before Labor Day). But it is never too late to let your representatives know that you care about AIDS in Africa and elsewhere, and infectious diseases throughout the world.

    Doing our part to control epidemics is entirely feasible and is the right thing to do, and it makes us all safer in an increasingly populated, mobile, and interconnected world.

ISSN # 1052-4207

Copyright 2001 by John S. James. Permission granted for noncommercial reproduction, provided that our address and phone number are included if more than short quotations are used.

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