Eighteen U.S. senators led by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D–N.Y.) seek to protect global AIDS funding from cuts threatened by the impending showdown over the national budget and deficit committee, Daily Kos reports. The senators sent a letter to Daniel Inouye (D–Hawaii), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and to ranking member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), pleading for sustained funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, as well as for the Obama administration’s Global Health Initiative, which includes the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

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