US revisits PEPFAR, discloses plan to control HIV epidemics in four African countries
Today’s report from the U.S. Department of State has it that through support from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), four African countries are approaching control of their HIV epidemics.
As reported in the press release, groundbreaking new PEPFAR data shows that the HIV epidemic is coming under control across all age groups in Swaziland –the country with the highest HIV prevalence in the world. In addition, PEPFAR-supported studies released in December 2016 for Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe also demonstrate significant progress toward controlling the HIV epidemics in these countries.
In Swaziland, as of today, new HIV infections have been nearly halved among adults, and HIV viral load suppression. This, no doubt is a key marker of the body’s success in controlling the virus. In reference to the press statement, the control of the epidemic has doubled between 2011 and the present.
According to analysts, these data suggest that Swaziland has met the global target for community viral load suppression among HIV-positive adults four years ahead of schedule. The Swaziland data is particularly important because PEPFAR funded a comprehensive survey in 2011-2012, which provides the critical baseline comparator of current results and progress.
Also, today’s findings demonstrate the remarkable impact of the U.S. government’s efforts, through PEPFAR and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, in close collaboration with African countries and other partners.
The United States is reportedly the largest bilateral donor to the global HIV/AIDS response. Through PEPFAR, the United States continues to invest in over 50 countries, ensuring access to services by all populations, including the most vulnerable and at-risk groups.
According to the U.S. Department of State, it is made known that Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe are among the 13 highest-burden countries that have the greatest potential to control their epidemics by 2020 through the UNAIDS 90-90-90 framework and expansion of HIV prevention, leading PEPFAR to accelerate its efforts, in these particular countries.
Correspondent: Ridwan A. Olayiwola