The current government of the U.S. has designated an additional $300 million to carry out a plan that aims to fight HIV infection in women across 10 sub-Saharan African countries, providing antiretroviral treatment to 12.9 million people by the end of 2017. Susan Rice, Barack Obama’s national security adviser announced the plans.
“No greater action is needed right now than empowering adolescent girls and young women to defeat HIV/AIDS,” said Rice in a statement as reported by The Guardian. She went on to say, “Every year, 380,000 adolescent girls and young women are infected with HIV.”
The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) was first formed in 2004 under George Bush’s administration, providing millions of dollars for antiretroviral drugs and treatment in Africa.
It was created to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS through public health programs. Currently, Obama’s administration is supplying ARV to 7.7 million patients with the immune deficiency syndrome, across the world. The PEPFAR plan, works in collaboration with other nations.
In addition, the ARVs, are antiretroviral drugs, that allow patients to live longer and with better conditions. However, ARVs are not a cure for the AIDS.
Another objective of the PEPFAR program is to provide circumcision for over 12 million males in Africa by the end of 2017. Rise said that PEPFAR also aims to, “Provide 12 million male circumcisions for HIV prevention, and reduce HIV incidence by 40% among adolescent girls and young women within the highest burdened areas of 10 sub-Saharan African countries.”
The countries that PEPFAR is targeting are: Uganda, Zambia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Mozambique, Lesotho, Malawi and Kenya.
Unlike some common viruses, the human body cannot get rid of HIV, which means that the affected will have it for life. So far, there is no cure for HIV, but scientists are working hard to find one and remain hopeful. In addition, the number of reported cases of HIV/AIDS increased a 25 percent among teenage girls and young women living in these countries.
Source: The Guardian