Cross-posted from PEPFAR
In its 15th year, the program continues accelerating progress toward reaching HIV/AIDS epidemic control.
Washington, D.C.—Fifteen years ago, when the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) was created, only 50,000 people in Africa were on lifesaving HIV treatment. New results released today show that the program now supports over 14 million men, women, and children on HIV treatment – more than twice as many as only four and a half years ago.
“Over the past 15 years, PEPFAR has transformed the impossible into the possible by rapidly accelerating access to lifesaving HIV prevention and treatment services,” said Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, M.D., U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy. “We have not only saved more than 14 million mothers, fathers, daughters, and sons, but also accelerated global progress toward ending AIDS as a public health threat.”
This May marks the 15th anniversary of PEPFAR’s enactment. The program has received strong bipartisan support across three U.S. presidential administrations and from the U.S. Congress. Under the leadership of President Donald Trump and thanks to the generosity of the American people, PEPFAR continues to expand its remarkable impact, driven by its transparent, accountable, and cost-effective investments.
PEPFAR has also enabled more than 2.2 million babies to be born HIV-free to HIV-positive mothers and assists more than 6.4 million orphans, vulnerable children, and their caregivers affected by HIV/AIDS to ensure the next generation can thrive. To help protect men and boys from HIV infection, PEPFAR has supported more than 15.2 million of them with voluntary medical male circumcision. The latest PEPFAR data show a 25-40 percent decline or greater in new HIV diagnoses among adolescent girls and young women in nearly two-thirds of the highest-HIV-burden communities implementing PEPFAR’s DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe) public-private partnership across 10 African countries.
These results demonstrate the critical advances being made under the U.S. government’s PEPFAR Strategy for Accelerating HIV/AIDS Epidemic Control (2017-2020) (PDF, 2.9 MB), as up to 13 high-HIV-burden countries are now poised to achieve epidemic control by 2020 with PEPFAR support. The Strategy was launched by the U.S. State Department at the 2017 United Nations General Assembly. It provides a roadmap for the more than 50 countries where PEPFAR works to accelerate their progress toward reaching epidemic control and reduce the future costs required to sustain the HIV/AIDS response.
“We have the historic opportunity – for the first time ever – to control a pandemic without a vaccine or a cure, laying the groundwork for eventually eliminating HIV,” Ambassador Birx said. “Across Africa and in many other parts of the world, death and despair have been overwhelmingly replaced with hope and life.”