PEPFAR on Saving Lives and on Achieving An AIDS-Free Generation

An AIDS-free generation is no longer a distant dream

Eleven years since its creation in 2003, PEPFAR has committedly fulfilling its mission on saving lives as it envisioned to achieve an AIDS-free generation.

In her statement in Washington DC, Ambassador Deborrah Birx, M.D. said the vision of achieving an AIDS-free generation is no longer a distant dream as the US administration continues to be an ardent support to PEFPAR.

On delivering results

A young woman sick with AIDS lies in her bed at the Mother Teresa Home for Women and Children with AIDS in Addis Abeba. UN PHOTO

Through the help of PEFFAR, more than 6.7 million people are now receiving lifesaving HIV treatment and the rate of new HIV infections has declined dramatically through the years.

PEFPAR also has delivered results by following sound science, focusing on impact, targeting efforts where the virus is most prevalent.

In addition, it is grounding its work in approaches that protect the human rights of all people.

Dr. Birx noted that PEPFAR is a public health program, and the principles of good public health demand that we strive to reach all affected populations with core HIV services even facing difficult cultural contexts, severe stigma and discrimination, or challenging security environments.

“These principles have underpinned PEPFAR from the outset, and we will never waver from them.” – Dr. Birx

PEFPAR undeterred by challenges

Amid the challenges and hindrances, PEPFAR has never been deterred from continuing to support comprehensive, non-discriminatory HIV services for all individuals.

“We will not back down now.” – Dr. Birx

PEFPAR’s core ethical responsibility is to the people whom it serves even at odds with sound science or good public health.

PEFPAR continues to champion sound science and respect for basic human rights at every opportunity.

Dr. Birx even made it clear that PEPFAR will not take actions that harm the very individuals for whom it serves. It will stand with them in solidarity by doing everything within its power to sustain their access to HIV prevention, treatment, and care.

PEPFAR is one of the greatest expressions of American compassion.

PEFPAR is US expression of American ingenuity, and shared humanity in its nation’s rich history.

As its marches on together toward achieving an AIDS-free generation, PEPFAR will remain committed to US foundational principles of sound science, focusing on impact, good public health, and a rights-based approach.

Without PEFPAR

When PEPFAR began, in much of the world, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, lives were being lost to HIV/AIDS at a truly terrifying rate. Individuals, families, communities and in some cases the very foundation of societies were being threatened under an unfathomable strain of the dead and dying.

Fortunately, just over a decade later, the situation has been transformed in dozens of countries when PEFPAR was created.

US on creating an AIDS-free generation

With the world making progress to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS, the United States of America has reiterated its commitment in creating an AIDS-free generation.

The US has said the ability to prevent and treat the disease has advanced beyond what many might have reasonably hoped 22 years ago.

Under President Barack Obama, the US government is building on the legacy to achieve an AIDS-free generation.

The PEPFAR is shifting out of emergency mode and starting to build sustainable health systems that will help the US government finally win this fight and deliver an AIDS-free generation.

The US governmnet has engaged diplomatically with ministers of finance and health, but also with presidents and prime ministers to listen and learn about their priorities and needs in order to chart the best way forward together.

With the progress the world is making together, the US says the world can look ahead to a historic goal: creating an AIDS-free generation.

In July 2010, President Obama launched the first comprehensive National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which has reinvigorated the domestic response to the epidemic.

The US government is focusing on what they call combination prevention.

US strategy includes condoms, counseling and testing, and places special emphasis on three other interventions: treatment as prevention, voluntary medical male circumcision, and stopping the transmission of HIV from mothers to children, Ms. Clinton pointed out.

Globally, the US has supported its partner countries shifting their investments toward the specific mix of prevention tools that will have the greatest impact for their people.

On treatment as prevention, the United States has added funding for nearly 600,000 more people since September.

The US efforts are reaching nearly 4.5 million people now and closing in on its national goal of 6 million by the end of next year.

On male circumcision, the United States has supported more than 400,000 procedures since last December alone.

The PEPFAR will provide an additional $40 million to support South Africa’s plans to provide voluntary medical circumcisions for almost half a million boys and men in the coming year.

And on mother-to-child transmission, the US is committed to eliminating it by 2015, getting the number to zero.

In the first half of this fiscal year, the US has reached more than 370,000 women globally, and its is on track to hit PEPFAR’s target of reaching an additional 1.5 million women by next year.

In addition, the United States is accelerating its work on all three of these fronts in the effort to create an AIDS-free generation and look at how all these elements come together to make a historic impact.

In June 2011, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric Goosby pledged an additional $75 million for preventing mother-to-child transmission during the 2011 High Level Meeting on AIDS.

Nearly every minute, a baby is born with HIV. A child dies of AIDS every two minutes and one of every five maternal deaths in Africa is HIV-related.

The world has made incredible progress in closing the gap in developing countries thanks in great part to the commitment of the American people. In fiscal year 2010, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) programs focused on preventing mother-to-child-transmission directly supported services that led to more than 114,000 children estimated to have been born free of HIV.

Mina Fabulous
Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn't preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.