WASHINGTON, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- If Congress allows a funding shortfall in a key global AIDS relief program to continue, more than 100,000 people could die, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Mark Dybul said this week.
The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, is a five-year, $15 billion program designed with yearly increases in funding. But Congress has yet to approve $900 million in expected funding for 2007.
If that money is not appropriated, the program, which provides treatment for 822,000 AIDS patients in 15 focus countries, will have to stop enrolling new individuals by February. Its counseling and testing programs, which have thus far reached 19 million people, will also feel the budget squeeze.