WHY: Ten Years of Progress
Ten years ago, the situation was bleak. AIDS had orphaned 14 million children around the world. As parents fell victim to the disease, child-headed households in sub-Saharan Africa became increasingly common. Responding to the challenge in his 2003 State of the Union address, Pres. George W. Bush announced a $15 billion program for AIDS control, treatment, care and prevention, calling it a “work of mercy beyond all international efforts to help the people of Africa”. Faith-based organizations, along with other non-governmental organizations, received financial support to implement this historic initiative.
Ten years later, the results are dramatic. As of September 30, 2012, the United States has directly supported life-saving antiretroviral treatment for nearly 5.1 million men, women and children worldwide. In 2012 alone, PEPFAR supported antiretroviral (ARV) drug prophylaxis to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV for 750,000 women, allowing approximately 230,000 infants to be born HIV-free. In addition, PEPFAR supported HIV testing and counseling for more than 11 million pregnant women in 2012.
We can end new HIV infections among children by 2015, and we can ensure that women living with HIV stay healthy through pregnancy, delivery, and breastfeeding. But to achieve an AIDS-free generation, we must strive for a world where no baby is born with HIV and no mothers are dying of AIDS-related illnesses. The faith community is committed to the Global Plan to prevent new infections, and hopes you will join us to hear more about our vision for a world with no babies with HIV and healthy mothers.
RSVP: Journalists should RSVP by May 13 to Kathy Erb, Christian Connections for International Health at kathy.erb(at)ccih(dot)org.
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