PEPFAR at 20: Keeping the promise

September 12, 2023

Our latest episode of Px Pulse is out, PEPFAR: Keeping the promise.  

PEPFAR is one of the greatest US foreign policy and global development achievements of the century. The program has saved upwards of 25 million lives since it launched in 2003. But as PEPFAR marks its 20th anniversary, it’s also fighting for its future.  

The US Congress needs to reauthorize PEPFAR for another five years by September 30 and reaffirm its commitment to this lifesaving program. Until a couple of months ago, most in global health and development expected smooth sailing for a five-year reauthorization of the program, as has happened throughout the past 20 years. PEPFAR has enjoyed deep and broad bipartisan support since its founding. Evangelical Christians, staunch conservatives and progressive liberals, Democrats and Republicans, HIV activists, civil society advocates and public health leaders have all championed PEPFAR, year in and year out. But a handful of Republicans, including past PEPFAR allies, are pulling reauthorization into high-stakes partisan politics. 

In this episode, Px Pulse talks to some of the people who put PEPFAR dollars into action and to global health leaders who explain why PEPFAR’s approach has been so effective, and what’s at stake in this debate. 

Tune in to hear: 

    Ilda Kuleba from Mothers 2 Mothers talks about the impact of PEPFAR on their work across 10 countries, training and employing HIV positive mothers as peer healthcare workers. 

    Dr. James Mukabi of World Vision’s Kenya program talks about how this Christian relief organization has changed the lives of thousands of orphans and other populations who are vulnerable to HIV.  

    Tom Hart, President of the ONE Campaign, which was co-founded by the rock star Bono, to be an early champion of PEPFAR and other poverty fighting efforts talks about PEPFAR’s accomplishments at the global level and what’s next as Congress debates reauthorizing the program.

    PEPFAR’s supporters have a job to do, to make sure everyone understands that the world has a lot to lose if PEPFAR is weakened and so, so much to gain if US policymakers unite in their support. We hope you will listen and pass on the episode, download the resources and, most especially, add your voice in support of PEPFAR.