Podcast PX Pulse

PEPFAR at 20: Keeping the promise

September 6, 2023


2023 is a big year for PEPFAR. Considered 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 PEPFAR is marking its 20th anniversary while fighting for its future.  

Its authorization expires September 30. Until a couple of months ago, most expected smooth sailing in the US Congress for a five-year reauthorization of the program. PEPFAR has enjoyed deep and broad bipartisan support since its founding. Evangelical Christians, staunch conservatives, DC Democrats, progressive HIV activists, and public health leaders have 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 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 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.


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