President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief

US-PEPFAR-Logo.svg

The President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR/Emergency Plan) was a commitment of $15 billion over five years (2003–2008) from United States President George W. Bush to fight the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. The program initially aimed to provide antiretroviral treatment (ART) to 2 million HIV-infected people in resource-limited settings, to prevent 7 million new infections, and to support care for 10 million people (the "2–7–10 goals") by 2010. PEPFAR increased the number of Africans receiving ART from 50,000 at the start of the initiative in 2004 to at least 1.2 million in early 2008.[1][2] PEPFAR has been called the largest health initiative ever initiated by one country to address a disease. The budget presented by President Bush for the fiscal year 2008 included a request for $5.4 billion for PEPFAR.[3]

The U.S. Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act of 2003 (or the Global AIDS Act) established the State Department Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator to oversee all international AIDS funding and programming. In July 2008, PEPFAR was renewed, revised and expanded as the "Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008". The expansion more than triples the initiative's funds, to $48 billion through 2013.[4] On June 23, 2009, Ambasssador Eric Goosby was sworn in as the United States Global AIDS Coordinator.[5]

The massive funding increases have made anti-retrovirals widely available, saving millions of lives.[6][7] Critics contend that spending a portion of funding on abstinence-until-marriage programs is unjust[1] while others feel that foreign aid is generally inefficient.[2] A 2009 study, however, found that the program had reduced the death rate due to AIDS in the countries involved by 10%.[8][9]

Contents

Focus countries

PEPFAR prioritizes resource-limited countries with high HIV/AIDS prevalence rates. The 15 current "focus countries" are Botswana, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Guyana, Haiti, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, and Zambia. While most of the $15 billion for this program will be spent on these focus countries, $4 billion is allocated for programs elsewhere, and for HIV/AIDS research. (The other $1 billion is contributed to the Global Fund, see below.) See the PEPFAR World Wide Activities Map.

Prevention

To slow the spread of the epidemic, PEPFAR supports a variety of prevention programs: the ABC approach (Abstain, Be faithful, and correct and consistent use of Condoms); prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) interventions; and programs focusing on blood safety, injection safety, secondary prevention ("prevention with positives"), counseling and education.

Initially, a recommended 20% of the PEPFAR budget was to be spent on prevention, with the remaining 80% going to care and treatment, laboratory support, antiretroviral drugs, TB/HIV services, support for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), infrastructure, training, and other related services. Of the 20% spent on prevention, one third, or 6.7% of the total, was to be spent on abstinence-until-marriage programs in fiscal years 2006 through 2008, a controversial requirement (see below). The other two thirds was allotted for the widespread array of prevention interventions described above, including counseling, education, injection safety, blood safety and condoms.

The 2008 reauthorization of PEPFAR eliminated the 20% recommendation for prevention efforts, including the requirement for abstinence programs.[10]

Treatment

In addition to providing antiretroviral therapy (ART), PEPFAR supports prevention and treatment of opportunistic infections, as well as services to prevent and treat malaria, tuberculosis, waterborne illness, and other acute infections. PEPFAR supports training and salaries for personnel (including clinicians, laboratorians, pharmacists, counselors, medical records staff, outreach workers, peer educators, etc.), renovation and refurbishment of health care facilities, updated laboratory equipment and distribution systems, logistics and management for drugs and other commodities. This is intended to ensure the sustainability of PEPFAR services in host countries, enabling long-term management of HIV/AIDS.

PEPFAR-supported care and treatment services are implemented by a wide array of U.S.-based and international groups and agencies. Among the largest "Track 1.0" (treatment) partners are Harvard University,[11] Columbia University's International Center for AIDS Care & Treatment Programs (ICAP),[12] the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF),[13] and the AIDSRelief consortium of Catholic Relief Services.[14]

Care

For those who have already been infected with HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR provides HIV counseling, resources for maintaining financial stability, etc. Special care is given to orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs) and services are provided that meet the unique needs of women and girls, including victims of sex trafficking, rape, abuse, and exploitation (see fact sheet on Gender and HIV/AIDS). Finally, the Emergency Plan works closely with country leaders, military groups, faith-based organizations, etc. in an attempt to eliminate stigma.

Programs

PEPFAR establishes bilateral programs in host countries and also works closely with multilateral partners, such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the United Nations program on AIDS (UNAIDS), as well as the Peace Corps and local Faith-Based OrganizationsPEPFAR_Inter-faith_New_Partners_Initiative. PEPFAR also endorses the international principles of the "Three Ones": — one national plan, one national coordinating authority, and one national monitoring and evaluation system in each of the host countries in which organizations work.

Accountability

PEPFAR reports to Congress on an annual basis, providing programmatic and financial data as required by law. The Second Annual Report to Congress on the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief is available on the official PEPFAR website,[15] as are more specific reports, financial information and other information.

PEPFAR was exempt from the Mexico City Policy.[16]

Funding data

Funding data was obtained by the Center for Public Integrity from PEPFAR's own information system COPRS. The data were obtained after CPI sued the U.S. State Department to gain access to the data. The data were shared on the CPI site as well as analyzed by the HIV/AIDS Monitor team at the Center for Global Development, who also share the full dataset.

Criticism

Controversial requirements

Some critics of PEPFAR feel that American political and social groups with moral rather than public health agendas are behind several requirements of PEPFAR, pointing to the mandates that one-third of prevention spending in 2006–2008 be directed towards abstinence-until-marriage programs and that all funded organizations sign an anti-prostitution pledge. PEPFAR also does not fund needle exchange programs, which are widely regarded as effective in preventing the spread of HIV.[17] The requirement for prevention spending was lifted with the PEPFAR reauthorization in 2008,[10] but some critics worry that some funds could still be spent on abstinence programs. The Center for Health and Gender Equity and Health GAP outline their criticism of PEPFAR on a website known as PEPFAR Watch. The previous 33% earmark has since been replaced by a requirement that if more than 50% of PEPFAR funds are allocated to non-abstinence promotion measures, the US Global AIDS Coordinator must report to Congress.

Randall L. Tobias

Critics of PEPFAR found fault with President George W. Bush's selection of former Eli Lilly and Company chief executive Randall L. Tobias as the first Global AIDS Coordinator in charge of PEPFAR, a position in which Tobias served from 2003 until 2006.

Paul Zeitz, executive director of the Global AIDS Alliance, stated that the naming of Tobias raised "serious questions of conflict of interest and the priorities of the White House",[18] while Kate Krauss of the AIDS Policy Project called Tobias "the fox in charge of the henhouse". Ambassador Mark Dybul replaced Tobias as U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator on August 11, 2006.

Generic drugs

PEPFAR was criticized for initially funding only branded antiretroviral drugs instead of cheaper generic versions, but distribution of generic drugs began in late 2005.[19]

Conditions

Many have argued that PEPFAR's emphasis on direct funding from the United States to African governments (bilateral programs) have been at the expense of full commitments to multilateral programs such as the Global Fund. Reasons given for this vary, but a major criticism has been that this enables the U.S. "to maximize its leverage with other countries through the funds available for distribution" since the "Global Fund and other multilateral venues do not possess the same top-down leverage as does the United States in demanding fundamental national-level reforms".[20]

Lack of funding

While the Bush administration had promised to increase funding for PEPFAR, January 2010's Obama administration budget showed signs of 'flatlining' funding to PEPFAR. This could cause a drought in medicines to people who need them to survive. UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibé has said that the world is likely to witness ‘our worst nightmare’ if funding for HIV/AIDS medicines falls short of sustaining those already on anti-retroviral medicines.[21]

Harm reduction

Advocates for harm reduction believe that better results would be achieved globally if PEPFAR revamped their approach to reducing the spread of HIV rather than trying to prevent it all together. They believe that PEPFAR does not thoroughly take into account the prevalence of challenges against effective harm prevention. Although it is ideal, it is impossible to completely prevent drug use, prostitution and rape from occurring globally. By "reducing" the high-risks associated with HIV transmission, advocates believe their approach provides to be more effective in terms of results than harm prevention.[1]


Faith-Based Organizations (FB0s) | Ideology vs. Science

FBOs and their missions of faith being intertwined within PEPFARs AIDS relief has been a sore spot for many. Opposition lies within the fact that many of the places where HIV/AIDS is prevalent do not adhere to the same religious doctrines as the FBOs are providing. [2]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "In Tanzania, Bush urges Congress to renew AIDS relief program as it is. Dems argue for less focus on abstinence, maybe more funding" SFGate, from James Gerstenzang, The Los Angeles Times, 18 February 2008.
  2. ^ a b "In Global Battle on AIDS, Bush Creates Legacy" Sheryl Gay Stolberg, The New York Times, 05 January 2008.
  3. ^ De Capua, Joe (2008-12-24). "President Bush Requests $5.4 Billion for PEPFAR in 2008". Voice of America. http://voanews.com/english/archive/2007-02/2007-02-07-voa28.cfm. Retrieved 2009-01-03. 
  4. ^ "Bush signs expansion of global AIDS programs" Will Dunham, Reuters, Washington, 30 July 2008. Accessed 02 October 2008.
  5. ^ Dr. Eric Goosby Assumes the Role of U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator
  6. ^ Plout, Martin (January 16, 2009). "Has Bush been Africa's best friend?". BBC. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7831460.stm. Retrieved 2009-02-05. 
  7. ^ http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28605888/
  8. ^ Samuels, Diana (April 6, 2009). "Bush's 'PEPFAR' AIDS treatment program saved a million lives in Africa, Stanford researchers say". San Jose Mercury News. http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_12087859. Retrieved 2009-04-07. 
  9. ^ "Stanford study first ever to show US AIDS Relief program saved a million lives". EurekAlert!. April 6, 2009. http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-04/sumc-ssf040209.php. Retrieved 2009-04-07. 
  10. ^ a b "International HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria: Key Changes to U.S. Programs and Funding" (PDF). Congressional Research Service, 25 August 2008.
  11. ^ http://www.harvard.edu
  12. ^ http://columbia-icap.org
  13. ^ http://www.pedaids.org
  14. ^ http://www.crs.org
  15. ^ http://www.pepfar.gov
  16. ^ http://www.populationaction.org/resources/publications/globalgagrule/GagRule_AIDS/GGRandHIV-AIDSbrochure.pdf[dead link]
  17. ^ Hellevik, Siri Bjerkrem: Does Obama Bring Change to US HIV/AIDS Policy? NIBR International Blog 02.03.2010
  18. ^ "Bush's 'surreal' choice for AIDS czar". Asia Times, July 4, 2003.
  19. ^ http://www.avert.org/pepfar.htm
  20. ^ "Fighting the Axis of Illness: HIV/AIDs, Human Rights, and U.S. Foreign Policy" (PDF). The Harvard Environmental Law Review, Spring 2004.
  21. ^ Hellevik, Siri Bjerkreim: Can Lazarus, Shopping, and Running Help Us Save More People from Dying of HIV and AIDS?, NIBR International Blog 08.10.2010.

External links

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