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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 Story

When PEPFAR was launched in 2003, there was an overwhelming “emergency” to address the AIDS crisis, particularly in Africa where people were dying by the thousands without access to life-saving antiretroviral treatment (ART).  U.S. Government agencies’ strong coordination has made PEPFAR successful. The program combines unique skills and abilities to fight AIDS, a serious and far-reaching health problem, under a unique U.S. Government interagency model.  There have been three phases to PEPFAR.  Phase I focused on the Emergency Response, and Phase II emphasized Sustainability.  PEPFAR has begun Phase III as of 2013, focusing on Sustainable Control of the Epidemic.  PEPFAR 3.0 describes the successes of PEPFAR and the future goals of the program.  PEPFAR’s plan to control the HIV/AIDS epidemic is based on three pillars and five agendas:

Three Pillars:  

  1.  Accountability: cost-effective programming that maximizes every dollar
  2. Transparency:  validation and sharing of data at all levels
  3. Impact:  sustained control of the epidemic by saving lives and averting new infections

Five Agendas:  

  1. Impact:  efficient and effective control of the HIV epidemic
  2. Efficiency:  increased transparency, oversight and accountability across PEPFAR
  3. Sustainability:  sustainable governance models and increased country fiscal contributions and local partner implementation
  4. Partnership:  renewed national and global commitments to an AIDS-free Generation
  5. Human Rights:  promotion and protection of human rights for all, including LGBT, women and girls and other vulnerable populations
  6. Underlying these pillars and agendas is a focus on:
    1. the robust collection and analysis of data, including financial and programmatic data
    2. “doing the right things, in the right places, at the right times” with an emphasis on funding towards core activities, to include care and treatment, key populations, orphans and vulnerable children, and other activities necessary to saving lives in the geographic regions and populations with the highest disease burden.

PEPFAR Achievements

  • As of September 30, 2014, PEPFAR is supporting antiretroviral treatment for 7.7 million men, women, and children.
  • In Fiscal Year (FY) 2014, PEPFAR supported HIV testing and counseling for more than 14.2 million pregnant women.
  • As of September 30, 2014, PEPFAR has supported more than 6.5 million voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) procedures.
  • In FY 2014, PEPFAR supported HIV testing and counseling for more than 56.7 million people.


PEPFAR Dashboards


In 2014, PEPFAR launched its new Dashboard site to provide current funding and results data, as part of an ongoing effort to assure transparency and accountability of the programs’ achievements.  You can explore this information on the PEPFAR Dashboards site.


PEPFAR Implementing Agencies

PEPFAR was built by strong interagency coordination between the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator in the Department of State (S/GAC), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Peace Corps, and the Department of Defense (DoD).  USAID and HHS’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are the primary implementing PEPFAR agencies.

S/GAC – The presidentially-appointed U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator leads the U.S. Government’s international HIV/AIDS efforts.  Coordinates the PEPFAR programs and policies among the relevant U.S. agencies.  Works with other countries and international organizations to build on HIV/AIDS programs, policies, and funding.

USAIDThe U.S. Agency for International Development - Strengthens primary health care systems.  Works with governments, NGOs, and the private sector in order to provide training, technical assistance, and commodities.  Supports multi-sectoral responses to HIV/AIDS that addresses the widespread impact of the disease outside of the health sector.

CDC – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention- Strengthens public health systems. Improves quality in health service delivery. Strong focus on surveillance, epidemiology, laboratory science, and health information systems. Provides technical leadership and direct assistance to Ministries of Health. Focus areas are prevention, treatment, care, and health systems.

FDA – The Food and Drug Administration - Ensures quality, life-saving drugs are affordable and available to countries in need.  Assists in select countries to build strong regulatory systems.

HRSA – The Health Resources and Services Administration- Builds human and institutional capacity for treatment and care. Assists countries to ensure staff have the right training to provide services that are needed.   Supports health worker education through the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI) and the Nursing Education Partnership Initiative (NEPI).

NIH – The National Institutes of Health- including the Fogarty International Center and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Supports a comprehensive program of basic, clinical, behavioral and implementation science research.  Leads in the area of biomedical research.  Builds research capacity and medical education through the Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI).  

OGA - The Office of Global Affairs (OGA)- is a coordination office for all HHS-related PEPFAR activities, and works to ensure a strong policy and administrative environment for the HHS OpDiv implementation of PEPFAR.

SAMHSA –  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - Headquarters and field special experts provide technical assistance on the link between substance abuse and HIV prevention, care and treatment Works with partners to emphasize the use of medication-assisted treatment as an HIV prevention intervention.

Peace Corps – Enhances HIV/AIDS programming and in-country training.  Provides targeted support for community-initiated projects.  Provides long-term capacity development support to non-governmental, community-based, and faith-based organizations.

DoD – Supports HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care, strategic information, human capacity development, and program and policy development. Provides direct military-to-military assistance.

Read more about the PEPFAR implementing agencies.