When President George W. Bush announced the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) 19 years ago today, he said: “We must remember our calling, as a blessed country, is to make the world better.” Only four months later, Congress authorized the first $15 billion for this historic endeavor, with overwhelming bipartisan support that has continued over the years.
Since then, PEPFAR has partnered with countries and communities to deliver hope and healing to millions of people around the world. Over the past two decades, the United States has invested $100 billion to transform the global AIDS response through our support for PEPFAR and as the largest donor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.
PEPFAR has saved more than 21 million lives, prevented millions of HIV infections, and supported at least 20 countries to achieve epidemic control of HIV or reach their HIV treatment targets. At the same time, PEPFAR has helped countries build a firm local foundation to prevent, detect, and respond to other health threats, and strengthened global health security. These local health systems have served as the backbone of the COVID-19 response across much of Africa.
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. 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.