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On May 27, 2003, President George W. Bush signed into law the U.S. Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Act, establishing the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The immediate commitment it provided of $15 billion over five years to combat the world’s HIV/AIDS pandemic was the largest up-front contribution made by a single nation to combat a specific disease on a global scale in history. Its results have proved to be well worth the investment. President Bush had proposed PEPFAR just four months prior in his 2003 State of the Union address, calling the initiative “a work of mercy beyond all current international efforts to help the people of Africa.” Congress responded quickly in approving the funding and President Bush signed the legislation surrounded by officials from the African and Caribbean nations the initiative would benefit, as well as Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, the former President of Zambia who had lost his son to AIDS. President Bush told those gathered that the “America makes this commitment for a clear reason…we believe in the value and dignity of every human life.” Within five years, millions of lives had been improved through PEPFAR. The program surpassed its five-year goal by providing more than two million infected women, children, and men with antiretroviral treatments. PEPFAR also played a major role in preventing an estimated seven million new HIV infections and provided support for more than 10 million individuals affected in some way by HIV/AIDS, including four million children and orphans. Seeing the great value of the initiative, Congress in 2008 appropriated an additional $48 billion to fund PEPFAR through 2013. At the end of 2010, the initiative was treating 3.2 million infected individuals on an annual basis and 11 million people overall. PEPFAR provided more than 600,000 pregnant mothers with drugs designed to prevent the transfer of HIV to their babies, resulting in more than 114,000 babies being born HIV-free. UNAIDS reports that, through PEPFAR and other international efforts, 2010 saw declines in HIV infection rates in 22 African nations and 30 countries overall. The program’s efforts have also led to a rising number of governments taking greater ownership of treatment and prevention efforts within their own borders. PEPFAR serves as an amazing example of a successfully designed and operated government-sponsored global health initiative. Building on that success, the George W. Bush Institute will host “The Summit to Save Lives,” an international event designed to mobilize leaders and health systems to advance care for women and children around the world, on Sept. 13-14, 2011. For more information, click here.
14 Things to Know About the Life-Saving Work of PEPFAR on its 14th Anniversary
This weekend marks the 14th anniversary of PEPFAR, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, which President George W. Bush signed into law on May 27, 2003 as part of the United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Act of 2003. Since then PEPFAR has saved nearly 12 million lives. Here’s a look at 14 interesting facts about PEPFAR, which has lead the progress in the global campaign to end AIDS. In 2003, at the signing of the PEPFAR legislation, less than 50,000 people in sub-Saharan Africa were on antiretroviral treatment (ART) for HIV/AIDS, now 11.5 million individuals are on ART due to PEPFAR. 99.5 percent of HIV-positive pregnant women are receiving ART, a more than 40 percent increase since the beginning of 2014. This has led to nearly 2 million babies being born HIV-free to infected mothers. Since the start of PEPFAR, new HIV Infections have declined 51 to 76 percent. Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) can reduce men&rs
President and Mrs. Bush's Visit to Namibia and Botswana in Photos
They delivered a message to Congress and all Americans: lives in Africa matter.
Building on America’s Leadership in Global Health
The new administration should stay the course as a strong leader in global health. This is a bipartisan effort, as both sides of the aisle have agreed on the importance of health care investments through successive Congresses and administrations, reflecting the priorities of the American people.
7 Things to Know about PEPFAR on World AIDS Day
Today marks World AIDS Day: a day to honor those lost, celebrate the global progress made in the fight against AIDS, and commit to put an end to the disease. In 2003, at the signing ceremony for the legislation that enacted the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), President George W. Bush said, “We believe in the value and dignity of every human life. In the face of preventable death and suffering, we have a moral duty to act, and we are acting.” Since then, PEPFAR has delivered life-saving antiretroviral treatment (ART) to 11.5 million people, and nearly 2 million babies have been born HIV-free with PEPFAR support. PEPFAR’s success contributes to a coordinated global effort to end AIDS. UNAIDS reports that since 2000, 18.2 million people have access to treatment for HIV, new infections of HIV have decreased by over 1 million infections, and AIDS-related deaths have decreased by 1.4 million. There is real hope for endin