What we’re reading: Making the case for, maintaining the impact of U.S. global health leadership – abroad and at home

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The Vital Case for Global Health Investments by the United States Government – The cost effectiveness of controlling infectious disease outbreaks where they begin, the protection that improving health capacities globally offers American travelers and guest workers, the common good advanced by global health research, and the good will generated by humane international responses are four strong reasons for the United States to remain a leader in global health investments, cited here. Dr. Sten Vermund of the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health notes that attention to global disease responses was slight during the 2016 presidential campaign, but is critical to U.S. stature in a safer, healthier world.

The Case for Keeping America’s AIDS Relief Plan – Former U.S. senator and physician Bill Frist underscores that message here with numbers — the 11.5 million people living with HIV currently accessing life-saving antiretroviral medicine thanks to the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the two million babies the initiative has protected from mother-to-child transmission of the virus, the 76 percent drop in new infections PEPFAR helped spur in Malawi alone, as well as the millions of people still in need of treatment for HIV. He also provides support for the part the program has played in making the world safer, citing findings that political instability and violence dropped steeply in countries benefiting from PEPFAR assistance compared to countries that did not.

Trump seems to support Bush’s AIDS program for now – This Atlantic piece explores the mixed signals on the new administration’s appreciation for PEPFAR —  from a memo questioning the program’s value, to a decision to maintain consistent leadership of the program, to the executive order reinstating and greatly expanding the impact of the global gag rule barring U.S. funding from international family planning service providers that provide information or services to terminate pregnancies to encompass all international health providers, including ones funded by PEPFAR.

Eight countries sign up to counter Trump’s global anti-abortion move – This piece indicate one way a global health leadership gap can be filled with eight countries joining an initiative launched by the Netherlands to replace the funding removed by the expanded global gag rule.

Why Obamacare repeal would be devastating to people with HIV – Finally, this piece examines the “game-changer” at home, spelling out ways the Affordable Care Act opened health care access to people living with HIV.

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