On September 22, AIDS activists marched through downtown Pittsburgh and demanded that the international Group of Twenty Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, a.k.a. the G-20, and other political leaders stop using the global economic crisis as an excuse to reduce funding for HIV/AIDS treatment, The Associated Press reports.

ACT UP Philadelphia, the Black Radical Congress of Pittsburgh, New York’s AIDS Housing Network and others spearheaded the event. Protesters compelled President Barack Obama to come through on his campaign promise to supply $50 billion during five years to AIDS efforts.

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria is up against a $5 billion U.S. funding shortfall and Obama’s 2010 budget does not boost allocations, according to protesters. Some African nations are already seeing a shortage of key medications, while clinics are releasing people from treatment due to a lack of funding.

“Three million people a year are dying of AIDS, and we need to make sure that funding goes forward,” said the Reverend Jeffrey Jordan of ACT UP Philadelphia during the protest. “Only 74 percent of the people with AIDS in the world get the proper medication, and that’s a sad number.”