SOURCE: Global AIDS Alliance

June 17, 2008 14:32 ET

Teleconference for Media -- Crucial AIDS Bill Stalled in Senate

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - June 17, 2008) -

WHAT: Crucial AIDS legislation has stalled in the Senate, despite broad bipartisan backing. The bill was originally authored in the House by the late Rep. Tom Lantos, who President Bush will honor with the Presidential Medal of Freedom on June 19.

To honor Lantos, it is crucial that the bill pass the Congress by June 27, as the President requested. This would give the US more leverage at next month's G8 Summit to secure more contributions from other G8 nations. Our speakers will explain why, from their perspectives, the Lantos-Hyde US Global AIDS Leadership Act of 2008 is so crucial. Journalists will have the chance to ask questions of the speakers.

WHO:

The Most Reverend Desmond Tutu -- Nobel Laureate and Anglican Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa (confirmed)

Mrs. Annette Lantos -- widow of the late Rep. Tom Lantos and holocaust survivor. (invited)

Kay Warren -- Saddleback Church (invited)

Paul A. Volberding, MD -- director of the Center for AIDS Research at the University of California, San Francisco

WHEN: Wednesday, June 18, 2008 at 1pm ET (12 pm Central; 11 am Mountain; 10 am Pacific)

HOW: This call is for journalists only, who can call in from any phone. Please RSVP by contacting David Bryden at dbryden@globalaidsalliance.org or 1-202-789-0432 x 211. Ask for the Senate Emergency Call. A recording and a transcript will also be available.

BACKGROUND:

In April, the House of Representatives approved a new 5-year strategy for the US fight against global AIDS, as well as TB and malaria. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has passed companion legislation, but the bill has not been voted on by the full Senate. 14 Republican Senators recently sent a letter to Senators Reid and McConnell backing the bill.

Today in Washington, Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga made an urgent call for the bill's passage. He said that through the program, "Kenya has worked with the US to achieve tangible results, including reduced rates on new infections."

The current spending level on Global AIDS is $6 billion, or, if held steady, $30 billion over five years. This bill would authorize $37 billion for AIDS programs, a 27% increase, including the portion of the US contribution to the Global Fund that goes to AIDS. The bill would also authorize a total of $13 billion in funding to fight tuberculosis and malaria, including the TB and malaria portion of the contribution to the Fund.

More info: http://www.globalaidsalliance.org/index.php/894

Contact Information

  • Contact:

    David Bryden
    (202) 789 0432 ext 211