Senator Risch honored with award for fighting global AIDS crisis

BOISE — Ahead of World AIDS Day on December 1st, The ONE Campaign, a global movement campaigning to end extreme poverty and preventable disease by 2030, is honoring Senator Jim Risch with an award for his dedication towards ending the global AIDS epidemic. In 2018, 770,000 people died from AIDS-related illnesses. In Congress, Senator Risch has been a leader in championing effective and efficient global AIDS programs, like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, that have helped save millions of lives.

“Senator Risch showed me that actions do make a difference,” said Andrew Forrey, a Moscow-based volunteer with The ONE Campaign. “I am a strong advocate in the fight against preventable disease, and have been working with Senator Risch to get support for programs that will help end the global AIDS epidemic. He responded by leading the fight in Congress to fund life-saving programs, like the Global Fund, that are saving millions of lives. I want to thank Senator Risch for working across the aisle to help move us one step closer to eliminating the global AIDS epidemic once and for all.”

“AIDS isn’t a disease of the past, it’s a crisis of now,” said Tom Hart, North America executive director of ONE. “In Congress, Senator Risch has been a leader in the fight against the disease, working to foster bipartisan support for proven global health programs that will help end the scourge of AIDS in our lifetime. ONE, and the millions of people around the world who benefit from these life-saving initiatives, are fortunate to have Senator Risch’s leadership in Congress.”

ABOUT THE GLOBAL AIDS FIGHT:

On October 10th, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, one of the most effective global health partnerships on the planet, held its 2019 replenishment in Lyon, France. The organization announced $14 billion in commitments from donors around the world to fight AIDS, TB and malaria.

Earlier this year at the State of the Union, President Trump pledged to “defeat AIDS in America and beyond.” However, just weeks later, he proposed a budget that slashed America’s global AIDS programs, including the Global Fund. Traditionally, the United States has contributed $1 to the Global Fund for every $2 contributed by other donors, and that steadfast commitment has incentivized billions of dollars in investments from others that would not have otherwise been made. This year, President Trump proposed a massive cut to the Global Fund in his FY20 budget that would weaken the U.S. commitment to $1 for every $3 contributed by other donors. This set up a showdown with Congress.

Earlier this year, the House of Representatives passed a spending bill that included $1.56 billion for the Global Fund. In September, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed a foreign assistance spending bill that did the same. In the Senate, Senator Risch was the sponsor of S.Res.318 which helped build support for the Global Fund in advance of the replenishment. In October, bipartisan lawmakers in Congress signaled a commitment of $1.56 billion to the Global Fund for three years, pending sufficient contributions by other donors, thus maintaining the United States’ historic one-third commitment. Together, with funding from other international donors and the private sector, the Global Fund will help save 16 million lives by 2023.

AIDS STATISTICS: 

  • Globally, 770,000 people died from AIDS-related causes in 2018.
  • Globally, 1.7 million contracted HIV in 2018.
  • Globally, more than 23 million people are receiving antiretroviral treatment. This is 62% of people in need.
  • Globally, roughly 850 young women [15-24] will contract HIV today. This is twice the number of young men the same age.
  • Donor governments spent US$8 billion to combat HIV in low- and middle-income countries in 2018, similar to funding levels a decade ago.
  • The world is investing 25% less than what’s needed to meet key 2020 targets.

The above stats are courtesy of UNAIDS here.