Health Policy Brief: Assistance for Global HIV/AIDS
MARY MULHERN KINCAID
In 2003 the United States created the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a major program of assistance to foreign countries affected by HIV/AIDS. The program has since pumped tens of billions of dollars into low- and middle-income countries to help them put millions of people on anti-HIV drugs; provide additional medical and supportive care for millions of others, including orphans and vulnerable children; and put in place an array of programs aimed at preventing the spread of HIV.
The law authorizing PEPFAR will be considered for reauthorization in 2013. Although it is likely that the program will be extended, Congress will probably debate a number of issues, including the amount of funding to be devoted to the program, given constraints on federal spending. A central concern is that spending on PEPFAR might be curbed at the same time that important gains could be made by increasing resources to stop the spread of HIV.
This brief describes the context in which PEPFAR was crafted, how the program has evolved, issues under debate, and policy considerations for the future.