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July 30, 2008

Bush Reauthorizes PEPFAR

President George W. Bush on July 30 signed into law a bill that will triple the country’s global spending to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports (afp.google.com, 7/30). The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) will allocate $48 billion to battle the diseases in developing countries during the next five years.

According to the article, the legislation will remove a requirement that one-third of PEPFAR spending be used on programs to promote abstinence and will eliminate restrictions on HIV-positive foreign visitors entering the United States.

“Across the developing world, the HIV/AIDS pandemic has destroyed the very fabric of nations, devastated the most productive members of these societies, discouraged economic development and orphaned 13 million children,” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D–CA) said in a statement last week when Congress voted to increase PEPFAR funding.

Pelosi added that the new legislation “is our contract with developing nations across the globe. It says that America stands with them in this fight, that our commitment will not waver, and shows them America’s true face of compassion.”

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