Short item Published on June 30, 2009

PEPFAR reduces number of AIDS deaths

The Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) which was launched in 2003 as a 5-year, $15 billion program for HIV treatment, prevention and care, has been the most ambitious initiative to address the global HIV epidemic. Recently the effect of PEPFAR on HIV-related deaths, the number of people living with HIV, and HIV prevalence has been assessed by comparison of trends before and after the initiation of PEPFAR's activities in 12 African countries targeted by PEPFAR (including South Africa) and to 29 other African nations (control countries). In the 4 years after the start of the programme there was a 10.5% reduction in HIV-related deaths in targeted countries compared with the control countries. However, no changes in prevalence rates (the number of people infected with HIV) were seen that were associated with the programme.