Third Annual PEPFAR Meeting Held in Durban, South Africa
June 13, 2006
About 1,100 HIV/AIDS advocates, researchers and scientists on Monday in Durban, South Africa, gathered for the third annual President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the Boston Globe reports. The five-day meeting will focus on promoting HIV prevention issues, including HIV testing, behavior changes and prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (Donnelly, Boston Globe, 6/13). According to Mark Dybul, acting U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator, although half of PEPFAR funding goes toward providing HIV/AIDS treatment, the program has been most successful at preventing new infections because of its "ABC" HIV prevention model (Quinn, Reuters Health, 6/12). The law (HR 1298) authorizing PEPFAR endorses ABC -- which stands for abstinence, be faithful and use condoms -- and specifies that at least one-third of PEPFAR's HIV prevention funding should be used for abstinence-until-marriage and faithfulness programs (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/5). Some HIV/AIDS advocates say the inclusion of faith-based organizations in delivering the ABC message over-states moral lessons at the cost of sexual health, according to Reuters Health. "ABC is bringing results," Dybul said, adding, "We don't differentiate between saving a life and saving a soul. We are trying to save as many lives as possible in as quick a time as possible." According to Dybul, ABC has helped to reduce HIV prevalence in Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya and Zimbabwe, as well as in some Caribbean countries and parts of India. "We are pleased with what has been accomplished, but we're a long way from reaching our goal yet," Dybul said. PEPFAR might exceed its $15 billion funding target by 2008, which is a reflection of the U.S.'s long-term commitment to addressing HIV/AIDS worldwide, Dybul said (Reuters Health, 6/12).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.