RESULTS Applauds Senate Passage of Historic Global Health Bill

Lantos-Hyde Bill provides $48 billion over five years to fight infectious disease, including $4 billion for TB; seen as major achievement for global health

Washington, DC (July 17, 2008) — Last evening the Senate voted overwhelmingly to approve an historic global health bill, the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008. The $48 billion, five-year measure to fight AIDS, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria was approved by a vote of 80-16.

“The Senate made a bold, bipartisan statement that the U.S. will not stand idly by as millions die unnecessarily, but will instead demonstrate a national ethic of justice and compassion through supporting treatment and care for millions of people living with AIDS, TB, and malaria around the world,” said RESULTS Executive Director Joanne Carter.

The legislation expands funding for global HIV/AIDS and malaria initiatives, and provides critical support for tuberculosis. The Lantos-Hyde Act requires a five-year plan to treat 4.5 million TB cases, and authorizes $4 billion for prevention and treatment of the disease. TB kills 1.7 million people every year, and is the leading killer of people with HIV/AIDS.

“We are now at a point where people are living with HIV, but dying of TB. TB remains the greatest curable infectious killer of adults on the planet. This bill will support aggressive scale-up of TB-HIV efforts and strengthening of basic TB programs,” said Carter.

Though the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed similar legislation in April, Senate consideration had been stalled as senators negotiated concerns about the bill. While the House version authorizes a full $50 billion for AIDS, TB and malaria, the Senate approved an amendment diverting $2 billion of the funding for American Indian water, health and law enforcement purposes. Several other amendments to limit the scope and funding of the bill were rejected on the Senate floor prior to the bill’s final passage.

“We urge the House and Senate to work together to adopt a final bill that provides the full $50 billion for AIDS, TB and malaria, and includes ambitious, measurable targets to fight these three diseases of poverty,” said Carter.

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