Hard-won gains in the long-running global HIV epidemic are in danger of being lost, argues Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, MPH, MPA, global director of ICAP at Columbia University, in a new commentary published today in Science. Co-authored with Myron S. Cohen, MD, director of the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina, the article calls on scientists, health care experts, global health leaders, and advocates to voice their support for the prompt reauthorization of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which has been held up in the US Congress.
Underscoring the profound impact the landmark program has had on the lives of millions, the authors write:
“PEPFAR, by all accounts, has been a resounding success. At its inception, only 50,000 persons living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa had access to treatment. Today, this number has reached over 20 million. This achievement altered the face of the continent, saving families and reviving communities.”
Laying out the critical challenges that remain in the global response to HIV, and the ways PEPFAR is poised to meet those challenges, El-Sadr and Cohen also offer lessons to inform the US HIV response.
Read the editorial published in Science Magazine.