Through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the U.S. government has invested over $100 billion in the global HIV/AIDS response, the largest commitment by any nation to address a single disease in history, saving 25 million lives, preventing millions of HIV infections, and accelerating progress toward ending the HIV/AIDS pandemic as a public health threat in more than 50 countries.
When PEPFAR was launched in 2003, an HIV diagnosis was a death sentence in much of the world; entire families and communities were falling ill. Over the past 20 years, death and despair have been overwhelmingly replaced with vibrant lives and hope. With the American people’s generosity, the United States has saved 25 million lives and prevented millions of HIV infections through PEPFAR. Working together with our partners, we have accelerated progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS pandemic – community by community.
PEPFAR has maintained strong bipartisan support across U.S. presidencies and U.S. congresses. The program’s lifesaving work is enabled through the U.S. government’s unwavering commitment to the program and the American people’s compassion and generosity, as PEPFAR ensures every U.S. taxpayer dollar is optimally focused for impact.
We know from the COVID-19 pandemic that an infectious disease threat in one country can rapidly threaten the world. By leading the global AIDS response, the United States not only supports countries to provide life-saving HIV prevention, care and treatment services, but also builds and strengthens health systems that our partner countries have leveraged for pandemic preparedness and response. These capacities, many of which exist at their current scale and sophistication largely because of longstanding PEPFAR investments, have been essential in responding to HIV/AIDS, as well as Ebola, H1N1, tuberculosis, and other health threats.
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, the public and private sectors, as well as regional, multilateral, faith-based, civil society and other organizations and by putting communities at the center, we have moved the HIV/AIDS pandemic from tragedy to hope; but our work is not done. HIV/AIDS 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. Ending HIV/AIDS as a public health threat is within our grasp and PEPFAR will continue to work with our partners to achieve this shared goal.