The U.S. Senate majority leader, Democrat Harry Reid of Nevada, has set a June 24 deadline for reauthorization of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which has provided antiretroviral treatment to some 1.5 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the developing world, the Associated Press reports (, 6/19).

According to the article, the PEPFAR reauthorization bill—which would triple funding for HIV treatment and prevention to $50 billion over the next five years—has faced conservative opposition since the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved it in March. Opponents say the bill supports prevention programs such as family planning, male circumcision and condom distribution.

However, both presumed presidential nominees, Senators Barack Obama (D) and John McCain (R), are cosponsoring the bill.

“Today an estimated 40 million people around the world are living with HIV/AIDS, with over 4 million new infections in 2006 alone,” Obama said recently. “I urge my colleagues to bring this important bill to the Senate floor for a vote as soon as possible.”