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AHF Launches "YouTube" Campaign: "Congress-Save AIDS Treatment in PEPFAR"

Jenny Boyce, a Mother Living with HIV/AIDS in Durban, South Africa, Tells the Story of How Treatment Saved Her Life

Lydia Nyide Speaks About Her 11-Year-Old Granddaughter Phumla Whose Life Was Saved by Treatment

May 11, 2008 - WASHINGTON - AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) ( www.aidshealth.org ) launched a "YouTube" video to press Congress to preserve AIDS treatment in PEPFAR. "Save AIDS Treatment in PEPFAR" features Jenny Boyce, a mother living with HIV/AIDS in Durban, South Africa, Lydia Nyide-also from Durban-whose 11-year-old granddaughter Phumla is living with HIV/AIDS and Njabulo Mabaso, M.D., Deputy Medical Director of AIDS Healthcare Foundation's Ithembalabantu "People's Hope" Clinic. Because of lifesaving treatment, Jenny's children are not orphans and Lydia's granddaughter Phumla is thriving. HIV/AIDS treatment has saved their lives and families.

Jenny and Dr. Mabaso will arrive in Washington D.C. this week joining representatives from AIDS Healthcare Foundation, as well as additional AIDS treatment clients from several of AHF's free clinics in South Africa, Uganda and Rwanda, to lobby legislators to ensure that access to lifesaving antiretroviral treatment remains a key component of PEPFAR.

The PEPFAR legislation, which is up for re-authorization by Congress, currently requires that a minimum of 55% of funds be spent on treatment, a provision that has been completely removed from the re-authorization bill. The group will also call for a significant increase in PEPFAR's treatment goals-up only 50% in the re-authorization despite a 330% increase in overall PEPFAR funding.

Excerpts from AHF's "Save AIDS Treatment in PEPFAR" video on "YouTube":

Dr. Mabaso: "Jenny has a very touching story. When she started being sick her kids were still very young. But, she's managed to take two of them though to university simply because now she's well. She can work."

Jenny: "It's so much easier today because when we are diagnosed--when people are diagnosed, when they are concerned, afraid of what will happen to their families, the hope is that treatment is available."

Lydia: "When my daughter was still alive she was worried about Phumla. I said I was going to look after her. Phumla was a sickly child. It was bad. When Phumla was seriously ill I had to come to the clinic twice a week."

Dr. Mabaso: "We started her on treatment, monitored her. Fortunately, she didn't have many side effects and she immediately improved and started doing well in school. Now, she's a happy 11 year old."

AIDS Healthcare Foundation believes that a successful global AIDS bill must include:

  • A 55% treatment floor and a goal to treat 10 million people by 2013: This requirement will ensure that AIDS treatment gets to all those who are sick while helping prevent the spread of HIV.

  • Clear and ambitious testing requirements: Individuals unaware of their HIV status spread the majority of new infections and HIV testing must be scaled up to stop this trend.

  • Fiscal accountability: The billions of US dollars being appropriated is enough to meet the treatment needs of those with HIV/AIDS as long as Congress ensures spending is prioritized for core medical services.
  • PEPFAR was the result of President Bush's groundbreaking 2003 State of the Union pledge to bring two million HIV positive Africans and others into treatment and prevent seven million new HIV infections via a five-year, $15 billion US-funded program. It currently operates in 15 focus countries and claims to support antiretroviral treatment for 1.4 million people worldwide. PEPFAR has been one of the most successful global humanitarian programs in recent memory, providing medical care to millions of people with HIV/AIDS, it has given hope to the 33 million people with HIV/AIDS in the world.

    About AHF

    AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) is the nation's largest non-profit HIV/AIDS organization. AHF currently provides medical care and/or services to more than 65,000 individuals in 20 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean and Asia. Additional information is available at www.aidshealth.org

    Contact:
    AIDS Healthcare Foundation
    Ged Kenslea
    , Communications Director
    (323) 860-5225 work, (323) 791-5526 mobile
    gedk@aidshealth.org
    or
    Lori Yeghiayan, Associate Director of Communications
    (323) 860-5227 work, (323) 377-4312 mobile
    lori.yeghiayan@aidshealth.org


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