- The Washington Times - Monday, July 21, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Your Wednesday editorial “AIDS funding boondoggle” makes it sound as if large amounts of funding will flow to China as a result of the legislation reauthorizing the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR).

In fact, on a yearly basis, less than 1 percent of U.S. AIDS funding (including support channeled through the Global Fund) is used in China, and this is not expected to change because the focus of the program will remain Africa. None of this funding will be used, as you describe it, for “coercive sterilizations and abortions.”

It also is not strictly accurate to say that the bill would triple the size of PEPFAR, because much of the increased funding in the bill is not for the AIDS program, but rather for programs to fight tuberculosis and malaria, which together kill about 7,000 people each day. Stopping TB is also critically important because of the threat it poses to Americans.

The funding in the bill, on a yearly basis, is less than 1 percent of the annual federal budget. This is a small price to pay for programs that will save millions of lives and foster good will around the world. That is why Republican Sens. Lugar, McCain and others were right to co-sponsor this crucial legislation.

DAVID BRYDEN

Global AIDS Alliance

Communications Director

Washington, D.C.

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