Today, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) commemorates World AIDS Day by highlighting the dual importance of delivering high-quality, people-centered HIV care and strengthening the capacity and resilience of communities and public and private health networks. This year, we have worked tirelessly to maintain and, in some cases accelerate, the progress of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) during the pandemic of COVID-19. USAID has been a lead implementer of PEPFAR since President George W. Bush launched the initiative in 2003, and we and our partners are active in more than 50 countries with the goal of reaching and sustaining global control of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Over the past 17 years, USAID has leveraged partnerships, including with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, and our expertise in global health to help control one of the world’s most serious challenges. Through PEPFAR, USAID has provided more than six million people with life-saving medication, delivered testing and counselling for HIV to 167 million people, identified 7.6 million new HIV cases, and ensured more than 5.6 million orphans and vulnerable children and their families received care and support. Additionally, each year, we and our partners reach more than 1.2 million individuals in key populations, who are most at risk of contracting HIV, with prevention interventions.
Through USAID’s leadership, many PEPFAR-supported countries have reached control of their HIV epidemics, and additional countries are on pace to achieve this milestone soon. These incredible efforts would not have been possible without our valuable partnerships with governments; multilateral institutions; the private sector; civil society, including faith-based organizations; more than 140 local organizations; and the 38 million people who are living with HIV/AIDS.
Now more than ever, USAID is committed to strengthening health care and fostering self-reliance to ensure communities in need have the support and resources to control and, ultimately, end the global HIV/AIDS epidemic.