How has the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief helped advance treatments and initiatives to combat HIV and AIDS? The latest issue of a health magazine tells us how.
Health Affairs magazine’s July issue provides an assessment of PEPFAR, from the “unique saga” of its creation to the “phenomenal potential” of its future. Started in 2003 under President George W. Bush, the U.S. aid program has been described as the largest since the Marshall Plan.
Editor-in-Chief Susan Dentzer introduced the issue, expressing gratitude that the program aimed for such lofty goals despite real limitations and frustrations. She pointed out that PEPFAR acted as a scientific test bed that helped launch other advances such as “combination prevention” and new treatments.
In the magazine, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Eric Goosby reaffirmed that for the first time in the disease’s 30-year history, an AIDS-free generation is a realistic global ambition, albeit one that will require the combined efforts of every scientific, public health and political tool available.
The magazine also included a piece by Nils Daulaire, director of the Office of Global Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, who explained how lessons from PEPFAR informed the first-ever Global Health Strategy and its 10 objectives for improved global health, announced in January 2012.
Other authors discussed PEPFAR’s history, provided evidence and anecdotes from clinicians in the field, and mentioned ongoing obstacles in the fight against HIV and AIDS. Anthony Fauci and Gregory Folkers wrote, for example, that obtaining sufficient funding and developing the operational capacity to deliver cost-effective interventions remained real challenges.
The July issue’s release comes as Washington, D.C., prepares to host the International AIDS Conference July 22-27. Health Affairs maintained the thematic issue was editorially independent and peer-reviewed despite its star-studded and administration-heavy authorship.
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