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The Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is the single largest global response to a disease. It was launched by President George W. Bush in 2003 with bipartisan support. This plan continues to change lives. It provides for complete service delivery in HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and treatment.

The PEPFAR Success Story

Strong teamwork among U.S. Government agencies has made this program successful. The program combines unique skills and abilities to fight AIDS, a serious and far-reaching health problem. The Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC) at the State Department coordinates all Agencies involved. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is a major leader in HIV/AIDS interventions, here and around the world. The Office of Global Affairs (OGA) is the main coordination office for all HHS-related PEPFAR activities.

OGA oversees policy and coordinates DHHS activities in PEPFAR. OGA assures that all DHHS assets are used in the best way to achieve PEPFAR goals. DHHS assists PEPFAR through five major Operational Divisions:

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Peace Corps, and Department of Defense (DOD) also support PEPFAR.

PEPFAR Health Outcomes

  • Saving mothers
  • Protecting children from being orphaned
  • Preventing infections among the most vulnerable
  • Teaching communities and individuals how to prevent HIV infection


Over $21 billion expended in over 80 countries (first 8 years, 2004 – 2011)

3.2 million individuals will live longer because of antiretroviral drug treatment (by April 2003)

What they Do

CDC –  Strengthens public health systems. Improves quality in health service delivery. Strong focus on surveillance, epidemiology, laboratory science, and information technology. Focus areas are prevention, treatment, care, and health systems.

FDA – Works in host countries and around the world. Works on improving the drug regulatory environment. Their goal is to assure quality, life-saving drugs are affordable and available to countries in need.

HRSA – Has experience building and sustaining clinical care systems in the U.S. Uses this experience to help other countries build their systems. Assists countries to ensure staff have the right training to provide services that are needed. Provides nursing training in several countries through the Nursing Education Partnership Initiative (NEPI).

NIH – Has an extensive research capability. Uses this capability to assist and inform countries who have health challenges due to lack of resources. NIH works very closely with other OPDIVS and partners. They  quickly turn research findings into improvements in service delivery and health outcomes. Fogarty International Center provides medical education for doctors through the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI). They use a network present in many countries and universities.

SAMHSA – Provides technical support centrally and to a few countries. Technical support includes policies and programs that address alcohol and substance abuse. Target populations are Most at Risk Populations (MARPs).

World Hepatitis Day

The public health concern of viral hepatitis is growing as the viruses are easily transmitted from person to person. Co-infection among people living with HIV/AIDS also occurs at an alarming rate.

The World Health Organization (WHO) designated July 28 as World Hepatitis Day during the 2010 World Health Assembly to better promote understanding, education and advocacy about viral hepatitis. In doing this, the WHO sought to encourage better understanding of the public health problem viral hepatitis poses and foster the strengthening of preventative and control disease measures. Today, World Hepatitis Day is celebrated around the world by a number of governments, related organizations, non-governmental organizations and professional associations.

World AIDS Day

World AIDS Day is held on 1 December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day and the first one was held in 1988.

On World AIDS Day, 2011, Dr. Nils Daulaire addressed the South African Human Sciences Research Council within the National Department of Sciences and Technology and the National Department of Social Development in Cape Town, South Africa.

For a copy of his remarks, click here. [PDF, 40 KB]

Future Focus Areas

PEPFAR focuses on emergency response now, but it is expanding what it does. Changes include:

  • Wider focus beyond AIDS to include TB and Malaria.
  • Emphasis on sustainability.
  • Emphasis on host country ownership of programs.
  • Targeted PEPFAR investments to rebuild health care systems. The goal is improved health care delivery in general.