As US aid cuts take a ruinous toll on women’s health, it is vital short-sighted ideology does not outweigh hard facts
It is no secret that the US president’s emergency plan for Aids relief, launched by George Bush in 2003, is one of the most successful public health campaigns in history. Known as Pepfar, it now reaches more than 14 million people with lifesaving HIV treatment. In the past 15 years, it has enabled more than 2.2 million children to be born free from HIV and has reached more than 15.2 million boys and men with voluntary medical circumcisions, a procedure that can prevent new HIV infections.
However, Pepfar’s most striking accomplishment is the sharp drop in new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in sub-Saharan Africa. In just three years, these infections have declined by between 25% and 40% in nearly two-thirds of districts with the highest HIV prevalence.