The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, enters the twentieth year of its existence. First proposed by then-President George W. Bush in January 2003, the initiative has since invested over 100 billion dollars to address HIV/AIDS worldwide and transformed the lives of millions of people around the globe. It is the largest commitment by any nation to address a single disease in history.
“When President George W. Bush announced the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief … he said: ‘We must remember our calling, as a blessed country, is to make the world better,’” noted Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a written statement. “Since then, PEPFAR has partnered with countries and communities to deliver hope and healing to millions of people around the world.”
PEPFAR’s track record is indeed impressive. As of last September, PEPFAR was providing nearly 19 million men, women and children with anti-retroviral treatment. That’s 1,750,000 more people than just one year prior. At the same time, 2.8 million HIV-positive mothers gave birth to HIV-negative children. What’s more, if the mothers are diligent in taking their anti-viral medication, they and their children have an excellent chance of living long, healthy and productive lives.
Other programs supported by PEPFAR include Tuberculosis preventative therapy, comprehensive HIV prevention services, and critical care and support for 7.1 million orphans, vulnerable children, and their caregivers.
Finally, with PEPFAR support, 20 countries have achieved epidemic control of HIV or reached the 90-90-90 HIV treatment targets. This means that in these 20 countries--Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Nepal, Rwanda, Senegal, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, and Zimbabwe --90 percent of all people living with HIV know their HIV status; 90 percent of HIV-positive people in there are receiving sustained antiretroviral therapy; and 90 percent of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy there, have achieved viral suppression.
“As we mark PEPFAR’s remarkable life-saving impact, we also recommit to the important work ahead—reaching the Sustainable Development Goal target of ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030,” said Secretary Blinken. “Through our strong and sustained support for PEPFAR and our leadership in hosting the Seventh Replenishment of the Global Fund this fall, the United States will continue to lead global efforts and mobilize others to prevail in fighting AIDS.”
Anncr: That was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.