News / Health

US Senate Votes to Extend Worldwide Anti-AIDS Program

Reuters
The U.S. Senate passed legislation on Monday to extend for another five years a successful and popular program to combat AIDS worldwide started 10 years ago by former President George W. Bush.
 
The 100-member Senate approved the measure by unanimous voice vote. It is expected to be considered - and passed - by the House of Representatives as soon as Tuesday before going to President Barack Obama for his signature.
 
The bill features several provisions to increase oversight of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, known as PEPFAR. The widely praised program is considered a catalyst for advancing HIV treatment, particularly in Africa.
 
It supports almost six million people worldwide who are receiving anti-retroviral drugs, and has provided care and support to nearly 15 million people, including more than 4.5 million orphans and vulnerable children.
 
Among other things, the legislation passed on Monday extends existing funding requirements for treatment of orphans and vulnerable children.
 
The measure was introduced in the Senate and House by Senators Robert Menendez, Democratic chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Bob Corker, its top Republican; and Representative Eliot Engel, the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Ed Royce, the panel's Republican chairman.
 
Aides said they expected it would pass the House because of this bipartisan support. Although the program is considered one of the most successful U.S. foreign policy efforts in history, its reauthorization in 2008 was marked by fights over social issues like birth control and abortion rights.
 
“Extending this vital program will bolster our efforts to combat HIV/AIDS as PEPFAR transitions from an emergency response to a sustainable effort that embraces greater partner country ownership,” Menendez said in a statement.
 
PEPFAR funding has fallen 12 percent since 2010. Critics have accused Obama, a Democrat, of failing to show the same level of commitment to fighting AIDS as his Republican predecessor, Bush, who poured $15 billion into the program to combat AIDS worldwide.
 
Obama has argued that his administration has expanded the program's scope without increasing spending.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid