Hailed as ‘astounding’, President George W. Bush’s anti-HIV / AIDS plan at 20 years old is still vital to slowing the spread of the deadly virus.
Under the plan, President Bush launched the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in 2003, with $15 billion in initial funding. The core of this initiative was a five-year plan to help strengthen care and prevention in 15 critical countries.
Since then, PEPFAR has expanded to supporting 110 countries with a total of $76 billion made available by the US government. This money has been used to fund HIV testing and treatment, support orphanages, offer technical assistance, and help provide essential healthcare supplies. These efforts have resulted in millions of lives saved.
The program has also had an immense economic impact on the countries it serves. AIDS-related deaths have decreased, creating a healthier population for economic growth. Other aspects of the initiative, such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, have provided hundreds of thousands of new jobs and more sustainable healthcare systems.
While the progress made since 2003 is astounding, more must still be done. HIV prevalence remains high, with more than 1.7 million people newly infected every year. To ensure these trends are reversed, an additional commitment of $30 billion for the next five years is needed to keep the momentum going.
In conclusion, the fingerprints of George W. Bush’s bold but much-needed emergency plan can still be seen today, and they are a testament to the significant and long-term impact this plan has had on reducing the spread of HIV around the world. Despite the sometimes-overwhelming challenges, PEPFAR’s 20-year legacy has been one of hope, and one that continues to keep the world on track with its fight against the pandemic. [ad_1]
PEPFAR is the “most remarkable point in the heritage of HIV,” suggests Dr. Sharon Lewin, president of the Global AIDS Society. Bush himself arrived to Washington this month to urge reauthorization..
(Image credit rating: Mandel Ngan/AFP by means of Getty Pictures through Getty Photographs)
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