U.S. support of global HIV/AIDS programming is leading the world toward remarkable progress against the epidemic. Linking people living with HIV to care and treatment services is essential for continuing this progress, as scientific research has conclusively shown that putting individuals on treatment is not only good for their own health, but also reduces the likelihood of transmission to others.
PEPFAR represents the largest commitment ever made by a single nation to combat a specific disease on a global scale. Since President George W. Bush announced PEPFAR in 2003, the United States has invested more than $62 billion in bilateral HIV/AIDS programs and also provided more than $14 billion to the Global Fund. As of September 2018, U.S. assistance supported more than 14.6 million patients on lifesaving ART and, in Fiscal Year 2018, the PEPFAR program supported more than 95 million people with counseling and testing programs.
Founded in 2002, the Global Fund is a partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector, and people affected by HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), or malaria. The Global Fund, which provides more than 20% of all international financing for HIV/AIDS programs, has saved 27 million lives since its inception in 2002. In countries where the Global Fund invests, deaths caused by AIDS, TB, and malaria have been reduced by one-third each year since 2002. The Global Fund’s co-financing initiative also catalyzes domestic health program investments, which show an increase of more than 40% for the 2018-2020 cycle over the previous three-year cycle. From 2017 to 2019, programs supported by the Global Fund are expected to save an additional 14 million lives, avert 194 new million infections, and support economic gains of up to $230 billion.
The United States and international partners have greatly scaled up services to help HIV-positive women to have HIV-negative children: 80% of HIV-positive women received the treatment and services necessary to reduce transmission from mother to child, resulting in 60% fewer new infections since 2000. PEPFAR-provided resources and funding for the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission has led to a cumulative 2.4 million children to be born HIV-free.
U.S. investment in HIV/AIDS and global health programs strengthens our national security and helps safeguard the health of Americans. A recent study showed that countries where PEPFAR operates have seen greater growth in worker productivity and economic development than other countries. Positive effects also spill over into other areas, such as improvements in government effectiveness, regulatory quality, and the rule of law. Additionally, current and former U.S. ambassadors report that these investments allowed for greater U.S. engagement with partner countries and strengthened diplomatic relationships.
The sustainable, long-term approach to laboratory infrastructure and human capacity development has enabled governments and the public to better respond to other disease outbreaks, such as Ebola in West Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Recipient countries are also increasing their investments for HIV/AIDS and other health programs, resulting in greater sustainability in fighting their own epidemics. In 2016, domestic investment from low- and middle-income countries accounted for nearly 60% of all HIV-related spending globally.