A Look at the U.S. Global AIDS Policy
The United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003, which became law in May some 17 years after the federal government made its first investments in the fight against HIV/AIDS overseas, is the first comprehensive articulation of U.S. policy toward the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. The new law is the result of a confluence of historic forces and the coming together of a wide and ideologically diverse coalition of key individuals and interest groups, all on behalf of a much expanded U.S. effort to combat the epidemic in the developing world.
In line with President Bush's personal commitment, the act calls for a major increase in U.S. spending on global HIV/AIDS. It also sets out the basic policy parameters for the expenditure of those funds. In a historic shift of priorities, it commits the lion's share not to prevention activities but to services for people living with HIV or AIDS. Moreover--and of particular concern to sexual and reproductive health advocates--the relatively modest funds available for prevention will be constrained by a series of last-minute amendments to the legislation that largely reflect the ideology and interests of religious and social-conservatives.
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