SOURCE: LIVESTRONG Foundation

LIVESTRONG Foundation

November 20, 2013 11:06 ET

LIVESTRONG Foundation Applauds Legislation to Renew PEPFAR

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwired - Nov 20, 2013) - In response to passage of legislation to renew oversight of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program by the U.S. House and Senate, the LIVESTRONG Foundation today issued the following statement:

"To date, PEPFAR has proven remarkably successful in providing prevention, screening and treatment services to fight HIV/AIDS in Africa; however, evidence suggests the disease landscape is evolving. Novel language was included in the PEPFAR Stewardship and Oversight Act, championed by Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Bob Corker (R-TN) that calls for a description of efforts, by country, to address co-infections and co-morbidities of HIV/AIDS, including AIDS-related cancers.

"We applaud the champions of this legislation, including House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) and Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY), for including language to ensure the success of PEPFAR is not jeopardized by emerging diseases. Those with HIV/AIDS are at a higher risk for certain types of cancers, such as cervical, liver and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. In fact, one out of three cancers in sub-Saharan Africa is caused by an infection. It is counterintuitive if U.S. investments save a life from HIV/AIDS only to lose that life soon after from a preventable and easily treatable cancer. 

"Cancer accounts for nearly eight million deaths worldwide each year, killing more people than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined. The emergence of cancer and other non-communicable diseases is becoming a top public health threat in Africa. The LIVESTRONG Foundation has led discussions with world leaders about these trends for years and advocated for the inclusion of language in the PEPFAR oversight bill to account for the change.

"We welcome the opportunity to work with PEPFAR and its extensive infrastructure, as well as in-country leaders, to strengthen health systems and address AIDS-related cancers. Much is left to be done by all stakeholders, but this legislative action represents an important first step to modernizing PEPFAR and ensuring it remains an effective program. Over the past decade, millions of lives have been saved. In order for millions more to be saved in the future, we must account for the rising rate of cancer."

About the LIVESTRONG Foundation
The LIVESTRONG Foundation fights to improve the lives of people affected by cancer now. Created in 1997, the Foundation is known for leading an ongoing dialogue with patients and survivors, providing free cancer support services and advocating for policies that improve access to care and quality of life. Known for its powerful brand -- LIVESTRONG -- the Foundation has become a symbol of hope and inspiration around the world. Since its inception, the Foundation has served 2.5 million people affected by the disease and raised more than $500 million to support cancer survivors. One of America's top non-profit organizations, the Foundation enjoys a three-star rating from Charity Navigator and has been recognized by the National Health Council and the Better Business Bureau for its excellent governance, high standards and transparency. For more information, visit LIVESTRONG.org.

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