Harare, July 25, 2012: The United States government, through the President’s Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has approved an additional $39 million dollars to fund HIV/AIDS programs in Zimbabwe.
“We have just received approval for additional PEPFAR funding for HIV and AIDS treatment and prevention which will see funding to Zimbabwe increase from $52 million to $91.2 million,” said Charles Ray, U.S. Ambassador during a media roundtable on Tuesday.
With the new PEPFAR support, the U.S. government will provide an additional $18.6 million to enable the government of Zimbabwe to provide anti-retroviral medication for an additional 60,000 new patients bringing the total U.S. government support to 140,000 HIV positive patients.
“An additional $15 million has been approved for voluntary medical circumcision, a proven safe and effective intervention measure for HIV prevention,” said Ambassador Ray. “And an additional $5 million will help accelerate prevention of mother to child transmission. These prevention and treatment measures are President Obama’s leading three interventions to achieving an AIDS Free Generation.”
This announcement comes at time when the U.S. is hosting the 19th International AIDS Conference in Washington DC. Addressing delegates, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said through PEPFAR the world had learnt a lot about what treatment and prevention measures work best. She explained the U.S. is focused on supporting high-impact interventions, and will make tough decisions driven by science about what it will and will not fund. “Since 2009, we have more than doubled the number of people who get treatment that keeps them alive… We’ve also learned a great deal about the needs that are not being met and how everyone can and must work together to meet those needs,” she explained, indicating that the U.S. will remain committed to an AIDS-free generation, including focusing on orphans and vulnerable children who are often overlooked. “We will not back off. We will not back down,” she said.
The U.S. Government is a leading provider of bilateral HIV/AIDS assistance to Zimbabwe. The support complements Zimbabwe’s national plan providing support to critical prevention, care, and treatment interventions through PEPFAR. The U.S. is also the largest donor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria, which provides major support to the Zimbabwe national HIV/AIDS program.
Key PEPFAR program activities in Zimbabwe also provide essential support to the national logistics and laboratory systems as well as development and delivery of high quality pre- and in-service training of doctors, nurses, and home-based care givers. PEPFAR funding has also supported programs meant to provide direct education, psycho-social, and palliative care support for people affected by HIV/AIDS including orphans and vulnerable children; support for large-scale and pilot prevention initiatives including testing and counseling, behavior change, and health systems strengthening through support for human resources systems, information systems, and large-scale national surveys.