07.30.08

ENZI CHEERS SIGNING OF GLOBAL AIDS RELIEF BILL SAYS PEPFAR RENEWAL WILL SAVE LIVES BY IMPROVING FOCUS ON TREATING INDIVIDUALS WITH HIV/AIDS

Washington D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-WY, Ranking Member of theSenate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP Committee), todayapplauded President Bush for signing legislation to reauthorize the global HIV/AIDSrelief program known as PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief). “This bill will secure America’s place as the world’s leader in the global fightagainst HIV/AIDS. This is proof that the United States continues to put its money whereits mouth is to combat these terrible diseases,” Enzi said at the White House, followingthe bill’s signing. “This is not a blank check – it requires greater accountability for every dollarspent by directing the countries receiving money to take the responsibility to maintainand continue to develop their own independent, sustainable programs to address thehealth care needs of their people.” Enzi said that reauthorizing PEPFAR will ensure the resources to improve theprogram’s focus on treating individuals with HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, andsave lives in countries devastated by poverty and disease. “This legislation will build upon the remarkable success of PEPFAR. Thereauthorization signed into law today establishes new, more challenging treatment goalsto ensure that we treat the greatest number of people in the most cost effective mannerpossible. Providing medical care for individuals with HIV/AIDS must remain thenumber one priority of our global HIV/AIDS program.” The Senate approved the bipartisan bill, H.R. 5501, (the “Tom Lantos and HenryJ. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and MalariaReauthorization Act of 2008”) by an 80-16 vote on July 16. “When I traveled to Africa in March, I saw firsthand the value of the President'sglobal AIDS policy,” Enzi said. “We have accomplished things that many thought wereimpossible from when I first visited the continent five years ago.” “Now is the time to help PEPFAR make the transition from an emergency aidplan to a sustainable, long range effort that will continue to be effective until thesediseases are relegated to the history books.” Enzi said the bill will:• Ensure that funding follows patients, and does not get wasted on excessive orunnecessary administrative costs;• Continue the focus on treatment by requiring that more than half of the funds beused for treatment;• Provide for a complete accounting of all funds provided to the Global Fund;• Maintain a balanced, comprehensive approach to prevention by securing funds forthe Abstinence and Be Faithful programs;• Increase the capacity of the health care systems in countries receiving support;• Ensure that all drugs used for the program are safe and effective;• Develop a framework for the long-range stability of global AIDS programs; and,• Encourage countries receiving assistance to develop their own independent andsustainable programs to address the health care needs of their people. “PEPFAR is truly one of the most successful foreign aid programs in the historyof the United States. I want to commend President Bush for his vision in creating thislife-saving program, and thank him for his tremendous leadership on this critical issue.” ####

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