Nearly two decades ago, the United States launched the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a federal program that has helped over 50 countries tackle their HIV crises. This month, PEPFAR released an updated five-year strategy to help speed up efforts to end AIDS as a global health threat by 2030.
PEPFAR—which was launched with bipartisan support by President George W. Bush and is overseen by the Department of State—released its new five-year plan, titled “Fulfilling America’s Promise to End the HIV/AIDS Pandemic by 2030,” on World AIDS Day, observed each December 1.
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“HIV/AIDS is still a pandemic and continues to be a serious threat to global health security and economic development,” the authors write. “With the release of ‘Fulfilling America’s Promise to End the HIV/AIDS Pandemic by 2030,’ the United States is setting a bold goal of accelerating the response to end the HIV/AIDS pandemic as a public health threat by 2030, while sustainably strengthening public health systems to create a healthier, safer, and more secure world for us all.”
To that end, the strategy is built upon five strategic pillars, each detailed throughout the report. They are:
- Health Equity for Priority Populations, which includes advancing youth-focused and gender-equitable programs;
- Sustaining the Response—for example, by supporting integration of national planning;
- Public Health Systems and Security, through strengthening patient-centered care and pandemic preparedness, for example
- Transformative Partnerships, which includes elevating regional institutions and integrating the private sector;
- Follow the Science—for example, through mainstreaming behavioral and social science into HIV programs.
In the Facebook post below, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken speaks about the importance of PEPFAR:
Since 1993, the program has accomplished much. “In many communities, where AIDS once brought death and despair, there is now life and hope,” writes Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken in the strategy’s foreword. “PEPFAR has saved more than 25 million lives, prevented millions of HIV infections and supported a growing number of countries to bring their HIV epidemics under control.”
Earlier this month, President Joe Biden spoke about the upcoming 20th anniversary of PEPFAR. You can watch Biden’s remarks on YouTube or in the video below:
In related news, PEPFAR this month also released a fact sheet listing its accomplishments thus far, including:
- 25 million lives saved;
- 5.5 million babies born HIV-free;
- 20.1 million adults and children on lifesaving HIV medications;
- 64.7 million people tested for HIV;
- 30 million voluntary medical male circumcisions (which prevent HIV in men and boys);
- 1.5 million people newly enrolled in PrEP, pre-exposure prophylaxis, to prevent HIV;
- 2.9 million adolescent girls and young women reached through the DREAMS HIV prevention services.
Writing in the updated five-year strategy, Blinken adds:
“Many of the first babies born HIV-free because of PEPFAR have now completed secondary school. Millions of their parents are alive—living with HIV, healthy and able to nurture their children along their journey to adulthood. Countless individuals are thriving and contributing to their families, communities, and economies. By partnering closely with countries and by putting communities in the lead, we have moved the HIV epidemic from tragedy toward hope.
“Our work is not done. HIV remains a serious threat to global health security and economic development. Our progress can be easily derailed if we lose our focus or conviction, or fail to address the inequities, many fueled by stigma and discrimination and punitive laws, that stand in our way.”