Pence: Trump to sign HIV/AIDS program legislation

    Vice President Mike Pence speaks at a campaign event for Republican U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers at the Spokane Convention Center Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018, in Spokane, Wash. Pence came to downtown Spokane to stump for McMorris Rodgers, who faces a strong challenge this year from Democrat Lisa Brown. (Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review via AP)

    WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump will soon sign legislation reauthorizing a 15-year-old HIV/AIDS program that has helped millions in Africa.

    Vice President Mike Pence made the announcement Thursday at a White House event marking Saturday's World AIDS Day.

    The Senate passed legislation extending the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, for five years, readying it for Trump's signature. Funding will be provided through separate legislation.

    President George W. Bush signed PEPFAR into law in 2003. Pence says it currently treats more than 14.6 million people.

    The vice president called the program "critical component" of the Trump administration's efforts to combat AIDS and HIV.

    AIDS advocates are calling on Trump to abandon his past attempts to cut funding for the program.

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