December 12, 2018 – Rep. Chris Smith’s bill extending the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) for five more years with $30 billion in relief funding was signed into law on Tuesday, reported TAPinto Belmar & Lake Como.

Under PEPFAR, which was originally created during President George W. Bush’s administration in 2003, the United States has saved 16 million lives by supplying $80 billion in resources to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic, Malaria and Tuberculosis.

“Each year we are closer and closer to achieving an AIDS-free world, and an AIDS-free generation, and my law will bring us one giant step closer to achieving this goal,” said Rep. Smith told WOBM. “So much has been accomplished since the beginning of PEPFAR 15 years ago—more than 16 million lives have been saved because of the program.”

“And yet much more remains to be done—every week, according to UNAIDS approximately 19,000 people die of AIDS-related illnesses. Roughly 37 million people around the world are infected with HIV,” Rep. Smith said to WOBM. “This law continues the fight against HIV/AIDS with the hope of one day eradicating this epidemic.”

This year marks the 15th anniversary of PEPFAR. Read the full TAPinto article here.