NSWP shares The Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF)’s deep concern about the Trump Administration’s proposed 1.08 billion cut to global HIV programmes. According to MSMGF’s statement here, “vital programming for gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men around the world will be slashed if the President’s proposed budget released earlier this week is approved.” Cuts to funding will also impact other key populations including sex workers, transgender people, and people who use drugs.
Here is the remainder of MSMGF's statement:
Over $1 billion in arbitrary cuts to global HIV programs at the State Department and USAID in the President’s budget would mean increases in avoidable HIV transmission and more unnecessary deaths. The White House’s budget calls for an approximate 17% cut to components of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, a complete defunding of HIV at USAID, as well as deep cuts to other life-saving global health programs, including the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis – the leading killer of people with HIV – and family planning and reproductive health programs.
MSMGF joins partner organizations in the United States and around the world in calling on Members of Congress to continue long-standing bipartisan support for a comprehensive, stigma-free domestic and global AIDS response.
“Gay men and other stigmatized groups are often made to feel unsafe or unwelcome in healthcare settings and by service providers, so they stay away. PEPFAR and the Global Fund have been crucial in the fight against AIDS for gay and bisexual men worldwide because they support safe, high quality, and stigma-free programs that make it easier for all people living with or at high risk for HIV to get the services they need," said George Ayala, MSMGF Executive Director.
The White House’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget decimates years of US investment in the global HIV response and promotion of global sexual and reproductive health. Specifically, it proposes to cut:
- State Department HIV/AIDS funding by approximately 10%;
- The global AIDS programs at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) entirely – a $330 million cut;
- The Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) global AIDS budget;
- All funding for the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI);
- $2.4 billion from the development assistance and economic support fund accounts, which would hamper the US’s ability to support critical LGBTI rights programs abroad; and
- Voluntary contributions to UN agencies – such as UNDP and UNAIDS – which would seriously threaten progress and commitments within those agencies to gay men and other key populations, as articulated by the Global Platform to Fast Track the HIV and Human Rights Responses with Gay and Bisexual Men.
A detailed comparison of current global AIDS program funding levels and proposed levels under the Trump budget plan is available here, courtesy of HealthGap.
PEPFAR, formed in 2003 by President George W. Bush, is widely seen as one of the most effective and strategic programs the U.S. has ever undertaken. Combined with its investment in global health made through the Global Fund, the United States has a deeply rooted bipartisan, forward-thinking commitment to global HIV treatment and prevention. These proposed cuts to the foreign assistance account, which currently comprises less than one percent of the U.S. federal budget, would reverse progress made and be devastating to the health and safety of millions of people around the world.
MSMGF urges the Congress to reject Trump’s budget in the forthcoming appropriations processes.