The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, PEPFAR, was launched in 2003 under President George W. Bush and made billions of dollars available for HIV programs in developing countries. This historic commitment was the largest by any nation to combat a single disease internationally. Prior to 2003, global investment in HIV programs was nearly non-existent. HIV treatment programs had not begun in most African countries as the medications were too costly and evidence that infrastructure and human resource capacity to deliver treatment was limited. By making billions of dollars available via PEPFAR, the ability to deliver HIV programs and treatment fundamentally changed the course of the HIV epidemic, and the investment in infrastructure and human resource capacity helped to alleviate suffering from other diseases.
AMFAR, the foundation for AIDS research, has developed an infographic which highlights outcomes in a world without PEPFAR:
- 5 million more deaths due to AIDS-related causes
- Life expectancy declines to less than 40 years in sub-Saharan African countries
- Without economies of scale realized by PEPFAR, the price of drugs and diagnostic test is NOT significantly reduced
- HIV treatment is one of the best interventions for preventing new TB infections; without HIV program scale-up, TB rates increase
- US credibility as a leader on global health and human rights is permanently diminished for its failure to address the global health crisis of the century