In a Washington Times letter to the editor (, 5/30), David Bryden of the Global AIDS Alliance says that Senator Jim DeMint’s argument in a recent Times opinion piece urging less U.S. spending for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) rests on “a number of misconceptions.”

According to Bryden, DeMint incorrectly states that the PEPFAR reauthorization bill for $50 billion over five years would be “more than three times President Bush’s original 2003 proposal.”

“In fact, it would authorize $37 billion over five years for AIDS programs (including those that promote fidelity), a 23 percent increase from the $30 billion the president proposed, while adding $13 billion for tuberculosis and malaria programs,” Bryden says. “The total is still less than 2 percent of the discretionary budget, so it is misleading to suggest this bill would bust the budget.”