How the Failure to Reauthorize the U.S.’s AIDS Program Will Affect Nonprofits Fighting HIV
This piece originally appeared in the Chronicle of Philanthropy.
Funders Concerned About AIDS, which represents more than 50 foundations and charities working in the United States and internationally, is arguing that philanthropy needs to play a key role in advocating for congressional renewal of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, known as PEPFAR. Congress failed to reauthorize the $6.9 billion-a-year program in October.
PEPFAR has been credited with saving 25 million lives across the globe and slashing HIV infection rates in half in some countries. Created under President George W. Bush in 2003, the program has mostly maintained bipartisan support and consistently been extended on five-year cycles. That changed this year when House Republicans declined to reauthorize PEPFAR unless restrictions were added to prevent federal funds from going to organizations that provide abortions. Evidence that PEPFAR funds have directly supported abortions is lacking, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy spoke with Funders Concerned About AIDS’s executive director, Masen Davis, to learn about what the failure to reauthorize PEPFAR means for nonprofits and philanthropy and how grant makers should respond.