The fight to eradicate AIDS is working in three African countries.
New data released this week by PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief) indicates the AIDS epidemic is becoming controlled in older adults and babies in the African countries of Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Declines in adult HIV incidence were reported in Malawi (76 percent), Zambia (51 percent) and Zimbabwe (67 percent) since 2003.
“PEPFAR’s success is measured in saving lives and changing the course of the pandemic,” said Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, U.S. Global Coordinator and Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy. “The fact that the epidemic is becoming controlled in several key African countries demonstrates the remarkable impact of PEPFAR’s investments, which have long received strong bipartisan support.”
Data was obtained through surveys funded by PEPFAR and administered by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and ICAP at Columbia University. In turn, the CDC and ICAP worked on the ground with local government and non-governmental organizations to conduct the surveys.
According to 2015 Central Intelligence Agency estimates, Zimbabwe ranked fifth globally in most HIV cases among adults, followed by Zambia (seventh) and Malawi (ninth).
PEPFAR, created by former U.S. President George W. Bush, reaches nearly 11.5 million people with life-saving antiretroviral treatment. The program also provides more than 11 million voluntary medical male circumcision procedures and claims to have supported the birth of nearly two million babies free of the HIV virus.