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PEPFAR's Impact After 10 Years

November 1, 2013
Launched in 2003, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is the largest effort by any nation to combat a single disease. PEPFAR, which began as an emergency response to AIDS in low-resource settings, is now focused on advancing the susta

Launched in 2003, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is the largest effort by any nation to combat a single disease. PEPFAR, which began as an emergency response to AIDS in low-resource settings, is now focused on advancing the sustainability of the response. The program directly supports more than 5 million people on antiretroviral treatment—up from 1.7 million in 2008—a three-fold increase in only four years.

PEPFAR is more than numbers. Meet Joyline. She is here today because of PEPFAR. Born with HIV, she was brought to the a local clinic in Kenya in 2004 very ill and extremely small for her age. With support from the Walter Reed Program-Kenya (WRP), local doctors started Joyline on antiretroviral therapy (ART)—she was the first pediatric patient affiliated with WRP to receive ARTs. Joyline continued to receive life-saving treatment and over time her health improved.

Today, as a young woman, Joyline is preparing for her Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination and she plans to attend college next year. She is thankful the PEPFAR care and treatment program was started in Kenya in time to save her life and hopes the program may continue so that others in need can receive treatment. Joyline expects to live her full life and she says she will be forever grateful to the doctors for their efforts to save her life.

While MHRP’s primary focus is on developing a safe, globally effective HIV vaccine, the program provides prevention, care and treatment services in each of the African communities where research is conducted as well as with military communities under the Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program (DHAPP). These services, funded through PEPFAR, provide an ethical, non-coercive environment to conduct clinical research. As a result, MHRP has built strong and trusting relationships with the communities, developed sustainable local healthcare capacity for HIV and other medical programs, and touched many lives like that of Joyline.