This week during the opening of the 23rd International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2020) the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) announced its latest program results and new investments focused on helping to improve PEPFAR’s progress.
To build on the more than 18 million lives that PEPFAR has saved since its inception in 2003, the program is expanding key programs and making new investments to further accelerate progress toward achieving HIV/AIDS epidemic control in more than 50 countries around the world. To date, PEPFAR supports 16.5 million men, women and children on life-saving antiretroviral treatment.
A major planned investment of over $400 million in fiscal year 2021 alone will be directed toward the PEPFAR-led DREAMS public-private partnership, bringing the U.S. government’s total investment in HIV prevention for adolescent girls and young women through DREAMS to over $1 billion. DREAMS works in 15 countries supporting adolescent girls and young women to be Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-Free, Mentored, and Safe. Data released on World AIDS Day in 2019 showed that new HIV diagnoses among adolescent girls and young women have declined by 25 percent or more in the districts where DREAMS operates. PEPFAR also announced this week that DREAMS reached 1.5 million adolescent girls and young women with comprehensive HIV prevention services in the past six months.
PEPFAR has also doubled the number of cervical cancer screenings it has supported for women living with HIV over the past seven months through the Go Further public-private partnership, which now exceed one million. This program is committed to reducing cervical cancer cases by 95 percent among the estimated 7.1 million women living with HIV who reside in the partnership’s twelve African focus countries. Because of this remarkable impact, PEPFAR will increase its annual funding for Go Further by over 70 percent in fiscal year 2021. We will also add four additional countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda) to the partnership.
The MenStar Coalition is another public-private partnership that PEPFAR helped to launch to expand the diagnoses and treatment of HIV infections in men. We announced this week that, through the partnership, PEPFAR has reached an additional 1.2 million men with HIV treatment in past two years and supported 91 percent of men tested to achieve viral load suppression.
PEPFAR has also trained more than 280,000 healthcare workers in the last ten years to deliver and improve HIV care and other health services. This will help ensure there is a lasting health system for partner countries to confront current and future health challenges.
For more information on PEPFAR visit: https://www.state.gov/pepfar/.
About the Author: Dr. Angeli Achrekar serves as the Principal Deputy U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator. She supports the daily oversight, coordination, leadership, management, and implementation of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).