Photo: AHF advocates from Rwanda, Nigeria, Cambodia and the U.S. meet with Members of Congress to build support with lawmakers for PEPFAR and the Global Fund.
Twenty years ago, President George W. Bush announced the establishment of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) – the most successful program ever created to address a single disease. AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) celebrates PEPFAR this week as it commemorates its 20th anniversary and honors the 25 million lives it has saved while acknowledging much work remains in the global fight against HIV/AIDS.
“PEPFAR has been an undeniable success – of which much can be attributed to its consistent bipartisan support since its inception, along with its transparent work via well-developed programs, partnerships, and the creation of the infrastructure to get resources where they’re needed most,” said AHF President Michael Weinstein. “We’re proud to celebrate PEPFAR today, and even though we still have significant work ahead, the strides the world has made towards ending AIDS would not be possible without PEPFAR’s invaluable contributions to the HIV/AIDS response.”
PEPFAR’s creation in 2003 turned the tide of the global AIDS response and was instrumental in bringing HIV care and treatment to places where the epidemic was raging out of control. The U.S. commitment to PEPFAR, which now has programs in over 50 countries, was the most significant investment by an individual nation to combat HIV/AIDS.
“The world was at a tipping point in the battle against HIV, compelling AHF to advocate for the creation of PEPFAR and later its reauthorization prioritizing care and treatment. It is the backbone of the global AIDS response,” added AHF Chief of Public Affairs and General Counsel Tom Myers. “We were also happy to commit our resources to bring caregivers and patients from AHF programs worldwide to Washington to share with Members of Congress real-world examples of the invaluable contributions PEPFAR makes.”
Thanks to PEPFAR, as of September 2022, more than 20.1 million men, women, and children are on lifesaving treatment, 5.5 million babies were born HIV-free, and over 7 million orphans, vulnerable children, and their caregivers received care and support. Additionally, more than 64 million people accessed testing services.