SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

UNAIDS celebrates the 10-year anniversary of PEPFAR

Since 2003, The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief demonstrated global solidarity and shared responsibility through a commitment to the world's most vulnerable, the Joint U.N. Programme on HIV/AIDS said on Tuesday.

Michel Sidibé, the executive director of UNAIDS, praised the successes of PEPFAR since its creation by President George W. Bush in 2003. The program far surpassed its initial goals by supporting treatment for more than five million people and providing care and support to 15 million, including five million children.

Sidibé detailed the collaboration between UNAIDS and PEPFAR to work toward an AIDS-free generation.

"(UNAIDS) has worked closely with PEPFAR since its inception collaborating on expanding access to treatment, stopping new HIV infections in children through the Global Plan towards the elimination of new HIV infections among children by 2015 and keeping their mothers alive and ensuring a long term, sustainable response to HIV," Sidibé said.

Sidibé said PEPFAR contributed to a worldwide 20 percent drop in AIDS-related deaths and a 25 percent decline in new HIV infections since the peak of the epidemic. He said the PEPFAR and other organizations must continue to work together to keep the positive momentum going.

"PEPFAR has been among the leaders setting a strong example for the world in which we all have a role to play," Sidibé said. "Today, the end of AIDS is coming into sight. Now we must continue to work together to ensure that PEPFAR's second decade sees an AIDS-free generation."