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The Success of PEPFAR

Article by Margaret Spellings December 19, 2013 //   2 minute read

In case you missed it this week, NPR ran a story, "How The U.S. Helped Fight The Global AIDS Epidemic," reporting on the effectiveness of President George W. Bush's global health initiative to stem the HIV pandemic. PEPFAR (the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) was announced by President Bush in his 2003 State of the Union speech, and he signed it into law by the end of that year. The program - which designated $15 billion over five years to fight HIV in developing countries - was unprecedented at the time and has had a stunning success rate. The government recently announced that nearly 10 million people around the world now have access to antiviral drugs, and treatment for two-thirds of these people is directly supported by PEPFAR. Funding by PEPFAR to treat HIV-positive mothers has prevented 740,000 infants from getting infected with the virus.

President and Mrs. Bush believe that every human life is precious, and that to whom much is given, much is required. They continue their work inspired by this principle at the Bush Institute through the Global Health initiative’s Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, which provides cervical and breast cancer testing and treatment for women in developing countries so that they may live full, healthy lives.

Margaret Spellings is the president of the George W. Bush Foundation and former U.S. Secretary of Education in the Bush Administration.

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