The debate that pits AIDS funding against other global health funding (for maternal mortality, malaria, etc.) rages on. Just last week, a Boston Globe op-ed began by saying AIDS has received tens of billions, but chronic, non-communicable diseases like cancer are becoming more deadly, without a similar monetary commitment from the US---as if there should be some kind of trade off, with one getting less and another getting more.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius promised to end the travel ban yesterday during her keynote address at the 2009 National HIV Prevention Conference. She thanked the 21,000 people who submitted comments in support of lifting the ban---many of them PHR supporters---and said HHS is going through the comments now.
Thanks to all of you who sent in comments urging the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to end the HIV travel ban. Your voices were heard loud and clear. The count, as of last Thursday, was 18,997 comments in favor of ending the ban, the majority of which were generated by PHR and Human Rights Campaign.
The Department of Health and Human Services is requesting comments through August 17th on the pending removal of the HIV travel ban. Public comment periods allow anyone to submit thoughts on new government policy before it is implemented.
On July 24, the US House of Representatives voted to end the ban on federal funding for needle exchange programs. Representative Jose Serrano publicly applauded PHR for our work on needle exchange funding issues