Late Breaking News
PEPFAR Launches New Five-Year Strategy for AIDS Relief and Prevention
- Categorized in: January 2010
WASHINGTON, DC—US officials unveiled a new five-year strategy for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) last month.
The strategy aims to increase HIV prevention, care, and treatment, as well as boost the capacity of countries receiving PEPFAR funds to manage their HIV programs. “If we are to sustain the gains we’ve made against this epidemic, PEPFAR must work in closer collaboration with country governments to support them in taking the lead and planning a response to their epidemics and orchestrating outside resources,” said US Global AIDS Coordinator Dr Eric Goosby, during an event held last month at the Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation in Washington, DC.
In 2003, PEPFAR was authorized as a five-year, $15 billion initiative to combat global HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria. The Department of State, USAID, HHS, the Departments of Labor, Commerce, and Defense, and the Peace Corps are among the US agencies implementing PEPFAR. As of September 2008, PEPFAR reported that it supports antiretroviral treatment for more than two million people, care for more than 10 million, antiretroviral prophylaxis to nearly 1.2 million HIV positive pregnant women, and reached more than 58 million with prevention programs designed to reduce sexual transmission of HIV.
Under the new PEPFAR strategy, the goal is to double the number of at-risk babies born HIV-free. During the first five years of PEPFAR, 240,000 babies of HIV-positive mothers were born HIV-negative. In addition, the program has a goal to provide direct support for more than four million people receiving treatment. “The focus will be on populations that are most sick, lowest T cells, pregnant women, and HIV/TB co-infected patients. At the same time, we’ll work with both our country partners and the international community to continue to lower the price of commodities and distribute the costs of treatment among multiple funders,” said Goosby.
PEPFAR funding will also go towards the goal of supporting training and retention of more than 140,000 new health care workers in the countries that receive funding. In addition, there is increased emphasis on ensuring that the partner governments of countries receiving aid lead efforts to evaluate and define needs and roles in the national response. “The five-year strategy is a policy roadmap for where we’ll be going ... Over the next year, we’ll be working closely with the field, with the implementing countries, to define and identify changes in guidance as we try to implement some of these new emphases that we’re identifying,” Goosby concluded.