AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, launches campaign in Washington, D.C. urging President Barack Obama to change the Administration’s reduced commitment to fighting global AIDS epidemic – bus shelter advertisements with the message: “Mr. President: Budget Cuts = Death” highlight detrimental impact of funding cuts to global AIDS efforts
WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--At bus shelters near the White House in Washington, D.C., AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, has left a clear message for President Barack Obama: “Mr. President, Budget Cuts = Death.” Accompanied by an image of the African continent and a Red Ribbon, the international symbol for AIDS awareness, this new campaign was born from the growing frustration over worldwide repercussions caused by the President’s decision to cut funding to the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which was first introduced by then-President George W. Bush in 2003.
While these bus shelter advertisements began appearing in bus shelters surrounding the President’s home in the United States, 1,000 demonstrators in Durban, South Africa last weekend protested the PEPFAR funding cuts that have already resulted in the closure of one HIV/AIDS clinic, the Sinik’ithemba clinic in Durban’s historical McCord’s Hospital, last year. This closure forced 4,000 adults and 1,000 children to seek care from overflowing public health centers, leaving them open to the detrimental effects of a disrupted treatment regimen. Fewer clinics also lead to fewer testing opportunities, meaning those who are positive don’t have the opportunity to learn their status and access care early in the disease.
“This is the first U.S. administration to make such a retreat in the fight against the AIDS epidemic, and the resulting treatment center closures – especially in South Africa, the country with the highest AIDS burden in the world – equal death for the people fighting HIV and AIDS there,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AHF. “We implore President Obama to change the course of AIDS in Africa and the world by fully funding these programs that save lives.”
AHF has launched an informational website, www.changeaidsobama.com, where people can learn about the detrimental results of the $220 million funding cuts that have already occurred as well as access petitions calling for an increased commitment from the White House to fighting AIDS worldwide.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is the largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare provider in the USA. AHF currently provides medical care and/or services to over 200,000 individuals in 28 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Asia. For more information, visit www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @AIDSHealthcare
AIDS Healthcare Foundation
+1.323.308.1833 or mobile 323.791.5526
Lori Yeghiayan Friedman
+1.323.308.1834 or mobile 323.377.4312