February 4, 2002 - 2003 Budget For Global AIDS Makes Hope A Casuality Of A War That Kills 8,000 People A Day

Statement By Sandra L. Thurman, President
International AIDS Trust
On The Fiscal Year 2003 Budget Request

Washington, DC – “Since 2000, a bipartisan consensus has led to yearly increases in US investment in the global war on AIDS, but the pandemic continues to spread out of control. Flat lining the global AIDS budget, or robbing Peter to pay Paul, will cost lives and undermine US leadership at a time when it is desperately needed. I hope that as the budget process moves forward, we will see bipartisan support for the US providing its fair share of what is needed to win this war -- an amount closer to $2.5 billion than the less than $1 billion proposed today.

“Every day, more than 8,000 men, women, and children die of AIDS and 14,000 become infected with HIV. In communities around the world, real progress is being made -- but the raging pandemic continues to far outpace the global response to it. We know what needs to be done. We can win the war on AIDS if we muster the same steadfast determination and leadership from the United States and its allies that we have seen in recent days in the war on terrorism.

“We have seen the power of the global community standing together against a common enemy. This same can-do, whatever it takes spirit is vital to winning the war on AIDS as well. Let’s join forces and make it happen.”

The International AIDS Trust was established to create strategic opportunities for galvanizing leadership, mobilizing resources, and promoting effective interventions in the global battle against AIDS. The International AIDS Trust is a single-focused non-governmental organization (NGO) with both long-range vision and rapid-response capability.