100 advocates head to Capitol Hill to support global fight against HIV/AIDS
WASHINGTON – Tomorrow on Capitol Hill 100 advocates from The ONE Campaign, a global advocacy organization co-founded by activist and U2 lead singer Bono, will meet with lawmakers and urge them to support the fight to end HIV/AIDS.
The US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief – or PEPFAR – was created in 2003 to stem the tide of the HIV epidemic in some of the hardest hit countries. A historic and bipartisan effort, PEPFAR has since helped save 25 million lives from HIV/AIDS, but there is still more work to be done. AIDS is still a crisis, claiming almost 2,000 lives every day. The program needs to be reauthorized by Congress this year.
“For twenty years, PEPFAR has been a beacon of hope for millions of people. It is the cornerstone of the US’ legacy of global health leadership and a testament to the lasting change we create when we work together to tackle global challenges,” said Suzanne Granville, Executive Director for North America. “PEPFAR’s incredible progress, while worthy of celebration, must not allow us to grow complacent. It is imperative that Congress reauthorize PEPFAR this year and move us closer to the day when we can finally end HIV/AIDS for everyone, everywhere.”
The advocates will also ask Congress to $72.9 billion in State and Foreign Operations (SFOPS) appropriations for Fiscal Year 2024.
The Congressional meetings are held as part of the ONE Power Summit, which also includes two days of briefings and trainings. The event will be held in Washington, DC for the first time since 2020.
Established in 2003 under President George W. Bush, PEPFAR has helped save 25 million lives from HIV/AIDS, help 64.7 million people access HIV testing, and ensure more than 5.5 million babies were born HIV-free. Since its inception, the US has invested more than $100 billion in PEPFAR – the largest commitment by any nation to fight a single disease in history.
PEPFAR’s establishment and continued success is the result of 20 years of bipartisan cooperation – the program could not have been successful without dedicated efforts from Republican and Democratic lawmakers.
In remarks from a 20th anniversary celebration of PEPFAR earlier this year, ONE co-founder Bono described PEPFAR as a “partnership between two political parties who thought they had lost the habit of working together or even getting along. You see, we find common ground reaching for higher ground.”