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On July 30, 2008, President Bush signed into law the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008. This law reauthorizes the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), marking a significant step in addressing these three global health challenges.

The new five-year, $48 billion plan expands access to existing lifesaving prevention, treatment, and care services for those most in need. Within the total, the law includes the authorization of $5 billion for malaria and $4 billion for tuberculosis activities. Additionally, the bill supports expansion of research and development for health technologies such as new drugs, vaccines, and microbicides.

The new law authorizes more than three times the funding included in the original PEPFAR bill, which expires in September. Current activities are on target to reach PEPFAR’s initial goal of preventing seven million new infections, supporting treatment for two million people, and providing care for ten million people affected by HIV/AIDS.

The Global Health Technologies Coalition, for which PATH serves as secretariat, successfully advocated for lawmakers to include language that promotes US participation in negotiations on advance market commitments to spur vaccine development and for increased technical assistance to countries conducting their own research and preparing to introduce new vaccines.

PATH and other members of the Global Health Technologies Coalition applaud the historic bipartisan effort and the bold leadership of both Congress and the Bush Administration in ensuring the passage of this critical reauthorization bill. The coalition encourages sustained and increased US commitments to lifesaving global health research and development and commends members of Congress and the Administration for taking a positive step forward by passing the PEPFAR reauthorization.

Posted July 30, 2008.