Washington DC: Apocalyptic Africa Face to Face With Judicious Resource Use In The Event of Withdrawal of PEPFAR Funds!

Africa faces her really large youthful un-employed population and a large HIV burden amidst a social support infrastructure built on the back of extended families who are like bodies gyrating from forceful spasms of the kicks of a dying horse. 

The President of the U.S. President Donald Trump Jr. has plans to withdraw from that Global HIV Mechanism called Global Fund in which PEPFAR has been so pivotal. PEPFAR in full is U.S. President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief. The U.S. has committed $ 75 billion to-date. If the U.S. stays, it will commit another $ 4.3 billion to the Global Fund (GF). In Africa alone, this will keep 300,000 on ARVs from dying. It will also help avert 7.9 million additional HIV infections between 2017-2030. 

35 million out of seven and a half billion people in the world are infected with HIV/AIDS. When left out of control, AIDS weakens individuals and makes them more susceptible to other infectious diseases, such as TB. In addition, the economic burden of AIDS consumes entire public health systems in developing countries. Considering these factors, focusing on the AIDS epidemic can help to reduce the threat of global pandemics, and free up funding and space for other diseases to receive the attention and support they need.

Sub-Saharan Africa has been the hardest hit by the epidemic. In 1993, 9 million (out of a worldwide 14 million infections) were in Sub-Saharan Africa. Today, 22.5 million (out of a global 35 million infections) are from Sub-Saharan Africa. To put things in perspective, Haiti is the country with the highest prevalence rate outside of Sub-Saharan Africa, with a prevalence rate of only 2.2%. In terms of treatment, Sub-Saharan Africa uses almost four times the ARVs of the rest of the world combined.

In terms of treatment, Sub-Saharan Africa uses almost four times the ARVs of the rest of the world combined. However, the current system of treatment for HIV/AIDs is still insufficient. According to the WHO/UNAID/UNICEF 2009 progress report “Towards Universal Access,” 66% of people who ARVs in Sub-Saharan Africa (around 6,700,000 people), are still not receiving treatment. Not to mention the 2,925,000 people who have already begun treatment, will need to continue receiving ARVs for the rest of their lives. There is still a gap between what Donor organizations are able to provide and what is needed on the ground. The burden continues to expand as new people need treatment and old patients need to switch to even more expensive second-line drugs. Moreover, international donor funds have recently been more constrained, leaving African countries to find new resources to solve the demand for ARVs.

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