print-only banner
The White House Skip Main Navigation
In Focus
News by Date
Federal Facts
West Wing

 Home > News & Policies > July 2008

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 14, 2008

Fact Sheet: PEPFAR: A Historic Commitment To Compassion

The Senate Should Continue President Bush's Lifesaving Initiative To Combat HIV/AIDS

"A lot has been given to America, and therefore, a lot is required of us, to deal with human misery, in the form of hunger and disease and hopelessness. ... America's generosity has been prevalent throughout the decades.  And every time America reaches out to help a struggling soul we find that we're a better Nation for it."
– President George W. Bush, 2/14/08

President Bush calls on Congress to reauthorize the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and pass S.  2731, the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde U.S. Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act.  In 2003, President Bush launched the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), committing $15 billion over five years to combat global HIV/AIDS – the largest international health initiative in history to fight a single disease.  In 2007, the President called for Congress to expand our commitment to this successful program for five additional years.

  • PEPFAR has already helped bring lifesaving treatment to approximately 1.7 million people around the world. 

  • S. 2731 retains core principles that have made PEPFAR such a success in its first five years.  This bipartisan legislation will preserve PEPFAR's results-oriented focus on supporting HIV/AIDS treatment, care, and prevention. 

PEPFAR Reauthorization Legislation Is Consistent With The Program's Successful, Founding Principles

Abstinence and Be Faithful (AB) programs are essential components of the U.S. Government's comprehensive, evidence-based, and balanced approach to preventing sexual transmission of HIV/AIDS.  The legislation before Congress will restore meaningful funding for AB programs and maintain the core principle of AB as part of an effective prevention approach. 

  • This legislation creates the expectation that 50 percent of funding to prevent sexual transmission will be spent on AB programs in countries with generalized epidemics. 

The anti-prostitution and sex-trafficking policy requirement is critical to the effectiveness of our strategy to fight global HIV/AIDS.  Prostitution and sex trafficking are abusive and dehumanizing to women, and they fuel the spread of HIV.  This legislation preserves the current law requiring that organizations receiving U.S. Government money:

  • Do not use PEPFAR funds to promote or advocate the legalization or practice of prostitution or sex trafficking; and
  • Have a policy opposing prostitution and sex trafficking.

Faith- and other community-based partners are highly effective in combating the global HIV/AIDS epidemic.  The legislation's strengthened conscience clause is critical to ensuring continued participation by faith- and community-based partners, which are uniquely positioned to promote HIV/AIDS stigma reduction and prevention messages, as well as to provide counseling and testing, home care, clinical services, and other interventions.  The bill ensures that these organizations will not be required to participate in or refer to any program or activity to which they have a religious or moral objection and ensures that they will not be discriminated against in procurement for refusing to do so.
The United States leads the world in its support of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.  The United States made the Fund's founding contribution and has pledged approximately $4 billion and contributed over $2.5 billion to date – far more than any other nation. 

  • In accordance with the original PEPFAR law, the bill has a 33 percent funding cap on contributions to the Global Fund, ensuring that for every $1 the United States provides, the rest of the world will contribute at least $2.  The bill also includes important new benchmarks for the Global Fund on transparency and accountability, as well as penalties if they are not met.

PEPFAR Partnerships Are Turning The Tide Against Global HIV/AIDS

As of the end of March 2008, PEPFAR was supporting life-saving antiretroviral treatment for more than 1.6 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the 15 focus countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean.  When the President announced PEPFAR in 2003, only 50,000 people in all of sub-Saharan Africa were receiving treatment.

PEPFAR is partnering with local communities and indigenous organizations, including faith- and community-based organizations to support treatment, care, and prevention activities.  Last year, 87 percent of PEPFAR partners were indigenous organizations, and nearly a quarter were faith-based.  PEPFAR has also:

  • Supported more than 33 million counseling and testing sessions for men, women, and children. 
  • Supported care for more than 6.6 million individuals, including care for more than 2.7 million orphans and vulnerable children.
  • Supported prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission interventions for women during nearly 12.7 million pregnancies from Fiscal Year 2004 to Fiscal Year 2007.
  • Supported prevention of an estimated 194,000 infant infections.

As a result of President and Mrs. Bush's leadership, in June 2007 the United States and other G-8 nations set a goal of supporting treatment for a total of five million HIV/AIDS-infected individuals, preventing 24 million new infections, and caring for 24 million people, including 10 million orphans and vulnerable children.


# # #