This year is the 15th anniversary of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
Fifteen years ago, when PEPFAR was created, an HIV diagnosis was still a death sentence in many countries, and entire families and communities were falling ill. Faced with this death and devastation, the United States government responded resoundingly. President George W. Bush sent ripples of compassion and hope around the world when he launched PEPFAR in his State of the Union address on January 28, 2003. Four months later, on May 27, the U.S. Congress acted swiftly, passing bipartisan legislation that authorized PEPFAR.
Today, death and despair have been overwhelmingly replaced with hope and life. The U.S. government, through PEPFAR, has not only saved and improved millions of lives, but also transformed the global HIV/AIDS response. When PEPFAR began, only 50,000 people in Africa were on lifesaving HIV treatment. PEPFAR now supports over 14 million people on treatment globally.
To mark our 15th anniversary, we are celebrating #PEPFAR15, a year-long campaign highlighting “15 Years of Saving Lives through American Generosity and Partnerships.” The campaign highlights the tremendous impact, efficiency, and accountability of the U.S. government’s longstanding HIV/AIDS leadership across three U.S. presidential administrations and eight U.S. Congresses. Under the leadership of President Donald Trump and thanks to the generosity of the American people, PEPFAR continues to expand its remarkable and cost-effective impact.
PEPFAR also celebrates our strong partnerships with foreign governments, the private sector, philanthropic organizations, multilateral institutions, civil society and faith-based organizations, people living with HIV, and many others to move the AIDS pandemic from crisis toward control. Working together, we are making what once seemed impossible possible.
For the first time in modern history, we have the opportunity to control a pandemic without a vaccine or a cure, laying the groundwork for eventually eliminating HIV. Thanks to the goodwill and compassion of the American people, we are closer than ever to ending AIDS as a public health threat around the world.
For more information:
Read PEPFAR's Fourteenth Annual Report to Congress (2018).