Statement from the International Partnership for Microbicides on the U.S. Administration’s Proposed Fiscal Year 2018 Budget
SILVER SPRING, Md. (June 1, 2017) — The International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM) today urges members of Congress to continue their legacy of strong bipartisan support for American leadership to end the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. Joining with many other scientific and advocacy organizations, IPM is calling on Congress to reject proposed cuts to international AIDS funding in the President’s FY18 budget request — because U.S. investments to fight AIDS are resulting in breakthroughs critical to saving millions of lives and creating a safer world.
The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has long enjoyed bipartisan Congressional support because it is one of the great ongoing success stories of our time. American leadership and innovation continue to bring this deadly disease under greater control domestically, and deliver highly effective treatment and prevention tools to tens of millions of people around the world. Countries that have received U.S. assistance for HIV/AIDS are today better off economically, and many have seen a dramatic fall in political instability and violence. As a result, all are better able to respond to global health threats, creating a more secure world for everyone, including the American taxpayer.
We need to build on this success — not risk reversing the progress on AIDS that Americans have led over the past 35 years. Now is a particularly crucial time for U.S. investment in new tools to prevent HIV infections among women and girls, who face a disproportionate risk of HIV globally. With U.S. support, HIV prevention technologies called microbicides are poised to bring new hope to the fight against HIV. In 2016, the first vaginal microbicide ring was shown to safely reduce a woman’s HIV risk in two large studies — a turning point that could not have been possible without crucial support from U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) through PEPFAR and the U.S. National Institutes of Health. The long-acting ring is being provided now to thousands of high-risk women in open-label studies in Africa while regulatory applications to license the product are being prepared — work that would stop under the current budget, which eliminates all USAID funding for microbicides.
The proposed reduction to PEPFAR, and complete elimination of HIV/AIDS research and development funding under USAID, would mean abandoning the HIV prevention microbicide ring and other pioneering solutions that are on the brink of making significant gains toward ending the epidemic. With the finish line in sight, now is the time to keep our foot on the accelerator. IPM strongly urges Congress to restore funding to PEPFAR, including HIV/AIDS funding under USAID, to ensure the health, security and prosperity of America and the world.
IPM’s work is made possible through generous support of governments and foundations around the world: The Flanders Department of Foreign Affairs, Irish Aid, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) through the KfW Development Bank, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
About IPM: IPM is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to developing new HIV prevention technologies for women and making them available in developing countries. We work with a global network of public, private and civil society partners to leverage scientific ingenuity, political will and financial resources to develop and deliver products designed to have significant public health impact. IPM has offices in the United States, South Africa and Belgium. Visit us at www.IPMglobal.org.
Contact: Holly Seltzer, hseltzer@IPMglobal.org, +1.301.608.4277