Policy & Politics
At Least 25,000 HIV-Positive People on Antiretroviral Drugs Because of PEPFAR, Congressional Report Says
September 14, 2004
At least 25,000 HIV-positive people have begun receiving antiretroviral drugs under the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief since the program began distributing funds to organizations and governments in February, according to an interim report delivered to two congressional committees last week, the Washington Post reports (Brown, Washington Post, 9/14). PEPFAR is a five-year, $15 billion program that directs funding to 12 African nations -- Botswana, Ethiopia, Cote d'Ivoire, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia -- as well as Haiti, Guyana and Vietnam (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 7/14). According to the report, which covered nine of the countries targeted by PEPFAR, the program has "directly" funded antiretrovirals for 18,800 HIV-positive people and "indirectly" funded antiretrovirals for another 6,100 people in the nine countries studied, the Post reports. A final report that will take into account all 15 countries covered by PEPFAR is expected to be available by the fall, according to the Post. Mark Dybul, an AIDS researcher at NIH and chief medical officer of PEPFAR, said that the program is "moving incredibly rapidly," adding, "To support 25,000 people in such a short time is virtually unheard of." Randall Tobias, head of the State Department's Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, said that "despite all the obstructions of getting something like this up and running, ... there is every reason to believe that we are on target to meet the goals that we have laid out." Dybul added that the lack of "manpower and expertise" -- rather than the cost of antiretrovirals -- has been the project's primary challenge to getting more people on antiretroviral drugs, according to the Post.
New PEPFAR Goals
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, or sign up for email delivery at www.kaisernetwork.org/dailyreports/hiv. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation, by The Advisory Board Company. © 2004 by The Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.
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