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PEPFAR Has Helped Millions, But ‘Hard Work’ Lies Ahead To Sustain Gains

PEPFAR, initiated in 2003, is “the largest global health initiative ever undertaken focused on a single disease,” a Washington Post editorial writes, noting, “Now, after four years of work, some 400 interviews and visits to 13 nations, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences has provided [an] examination of this incredibly ambitious program.” The editorial briefly recaps the findings of the report, which states “PEPFAR has been ‘globally transformative,’ a ‘lifeline’ and credited around the world for ‘restoring hope’ in the long, difficult struggle against HIV/AIDS, which has taken nearly 30 million lives over three decades.”

“In the next decade, the challenge will be to sustain [the gains made in treatment, care and prevention], and much work remains,” the Washington Post continues. “In the early years, PEPFAR’s prevention programs were considered too narrow,” the editorial writes, adding, “Now, the report notes, there has been a needed ‘evolution’ toward broader efforts.” The editorial concludes, “Hard work is still ahead, and there may be fewer glowing report cards like this one. But Congress and the administration should take note: PEPFAR has changed millions of lives for the better and can do so in the next decade as well” (2/25).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.