The Obama Administration announced this week a $300 million program that will fight against HIV infections in ten developing African countries that are heavily effected by the virus.
The administration and health care officials are expecting to reduce the number of infection by up to 25% in young African women by the end of 2016, and by 40% by the end of 2017.
These ten African countries are all situated below the Sahara desert and they will mark the next chapter for PEPFAR (the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief).
“No greater action is needed right now than empowering adolescent girls and young women to defeat HIV/AIDS,” National Security Adviser Susan Rice said. The program was started in 2003 by George W. Bush, and it was taken over by President Barack Obama. Until now, the initiative saved millions in Africa.
PEPFAR is one of the most important public health program ever conceived, its scope and size hold an unique place in history. To put things in perspective, in 2010, only 50,000 HIV sufferers in Africa received antiretroviral treatment (ART), whereas the project has now spread to Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Mozambique, Swaziland, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Lesotho, and South Africa, treating millions of people.
The ten countries targeted by the program account for 46% of the world’s total human immunodeficiency virus infections registered last year. ART is not a cure, but it can significantly control the virus so that the sufferer can live a healthier life. The treatment also reduced the risks of transmitting the virus to others.
The Obama Administration executive branch will reveal its goal to give a hand to countries with poor health care infrastructures in front of a United Nations summit. President Barrack Obama will give a speech regarding the current development on Sunday.
According to PEPFAR, nearly 400,000 girls between 17-25 are infected with the virus each year in sub-Saharan Africa. Officials declared that it is crucial to start their HIV prevention this year in order to stop the virus from spreading even more.
The $300 million funds were already allocated to the PEPFAR officials, and right now they are being reprocessed in order to maximize their efficiency. Moreover, the Obama Administration has more plans for the program, by the end of 2017, it is planning to announce their new targets. One of the rumors say that the Administration wants to offer antiretroviral treatment to more than 11 million people living in sub-Saharan Africa.
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