NEWS ADVISORY
House International Relations Committee

Congressman Henry J. Hyde

CONTACTS: Sam Stratman, (202) 226-7875, December 6, 2001

 

For IMMEDIATE Release
Hyde Global HIV/AIDS Legislation
Scheduled for House Vote December 11

(WASHINGTON) - A $1.3 billion one-year authorization bill to address the global HIV/AIDS crisis is scheduled for a vote in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, December 11 its chief sponsor, U.S. Rep. Henry J. Hyde (R-IL), chairman of the House International Relations Committee announced Thursday.

The bipartisan legislation, the Global Access to HIV/AIDS Prevention, Awareness, Education and Treatment Act (HR 2069), was approved 32-4 in June by the committee with support from cosponsors U.S. Reps. Tom Lantos (D-CA), Jim Leach (R-IA) and Barbara Lee (D-CA).

"The scourge of HIV/AIDS is one of the great moral challenges of our era, for it is one of the most compelling humanitarian and national security crisis of modern times," Hyde said, adding, "Everyone has a stake in what tragically could be the plague of the 21st century, and we must meet this test by reaching out now to those most in need. It is the right thing to do for our children, our country, and our world," Hyde added."

Highlights of the HR 2069 (As amended):

$750 million for an international AIDS trust fund.

$485 million in bilateral assistance largely through non-governmental organizations including faith-based organizations and administered by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to undertake a comprehensive program of HIV/AIDS education, and treatment; including prevention activities that promote behavioral change.

$50 million for a pilot program for treatment of those infected by assisting developing countries in procuring pharmaceuticals and anti-viral therapies.

Establishes programs to strengthen and broaden indigenous health care delivery systems and the capacity of such systems to deliver HIV/AIDS pharmaceuticals.

Provides assistance aimed at the prevention of transmission of HIV/AIDS from mother to child.

Provides assistance to strengthen and expand hospice and palliative care programs.

Funds care and support of children who are orphaned by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Funds vaccine research and development partnership programs to develop a safe, effective, accessible, preventive HIV vaccine for use throughout the world.

Establishes microenterprise programs that provide poor families affected by HIV/AIDS with the economic means to care for themselves, their children, and orphans.

Establishes an aggressive oversight program to monitor projects, and activities.

Facts about the Global HIV/AIDS crisis:

According to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) more than 58 million people worldwide are infected with HIV/AIDS; 22 million have died, 17 million in sub-Saharan Africa alone.

The HIV/AIDS pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa has grown beyond an international public health issue to become a humanitarian, national security, and developmental crisis. The pandemic is striking hardest among women and girls. According to UNAIDS, by the end of 2000, 55 percent of the HIV-positive population in sub-Saharan Africa and 40 percent of such population in North Africa and the Middle East were women, infected mainly through heterosexual transmission. In Africa, 6 out of 7 children who are HIV positive are girls.

An estimated 1.4 million children under age 15 were living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2000, of which 1.1 million were children living in sub-Saharan Africa. An estimated 500,000 children died of AIDS during 2000, of which 440,000 were children in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition there are an estimated 13.2 million children worldwide who have lost one or both of their parents to HIV/AIDS, of which 12.1 million are children in sub-Saharan Africa.

Although the HIV/AIDS pandemic has impacted the sub-Saharan Africa disproportionately, HIV infection rates are rising rapidly in India and other South Asian countries, Brazil, Russia, Eastern European countries, and Caribbean countries, and pose a serious threat to the security and stability in those countries. Infection rates are rising rapidly in Haiti and the Caribbean, where an estimated 5 percent of the population has AIDS or his HIV-infected.

In January 2000, the United States National Intelligence Council estimated that this dramatic increase in AIDS orphans will contribute to economic decay, social fragmentation, and political destabilization in already volatile and strained societies. Children without care or hope are often drawn into prostitution, crime, substance abuse or child soldiery. The Council also stated that, in addition to the reduction of economic activity caused by HIV/AIDS to date, the disease could reduce GDP by as much as 20 percent or more by 2010 in some countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

The HIV/AIDS epidemic is not just a health crisis but is directly linked to development problems, including chronic poverty, food security and personal debt that are reflected in the capacity of affected households, often headed by elders or orphaned children, to meet basic needs. Similarly, heavily-indebted countries are stripped of the resources necessary to improve health care delivery systems and infrastructure and to prevent, treat, and care for individuals affected by HIV/AIDS.

By 2010, it is estimated that approximately 40,000,000 children worldwide will have lost one or both of their parents to HIV/AIDS.

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