If the Senate votes to slash our foreign aid budget, funding for US initiatives like PEPFAR (one of our major programs to stop AIDS in the developing world) and the Global Fund could potentially lose millions of dollars. That doesn’t translate very well for people who depend on these programs for survival. In fact, according to the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, these funding cuts have “very real implications of life and death in large numbers.”
Just how large? Try 20,000. That’s the number of infants who would be born infected with HIV if PEPFAR funding got slashed. And we would be threatening our progress on prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV/AIDS. Just five years ago, only 15 percent of women around the world had access to PMTCT services — now, that number is 53 percent, according to PEPFAR. And remember our awesome video (see above) of the moms talking about “no child born with HIV by 2015?” Well, the budget cuts won’t help our efforts to reach our goal much.
Sorry if I seem a little angry, but my blood is boiling. And if it doesn’t get yours boiling, then I don’t know what will. But there is something you can do. Tell your senator to SAY NO to the budget cuts. And tell your friends, your family and heck, all 500 of your buddies on Facebook, too. Right now is the right time.