The Peace Corps CEO, Carol Spahn, has said her agency’s partnership with the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has paid off with more than 25 million lives of HIV/AIDS victims saved globally.
The disclosure was contained in a press statement to mark PEPFAR’s 20th anniversary, and made available to our outlet, weekend.
“This weekend, we acknowledge the 20th anniversary of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and honor the tremendous progress this coordinated U.S. Government effort has made toward eliminating HIV/AIDS as a public health threat.
“Launched by President Bush in 2003, and thanks to the compassion and generosity of the American people, PEPFAR has helped save more than 25 million lives across the globe.
“Since PEPFAR’s inception, the Peace Corps has been a strategic partner of the U.S. Government’s response to HIV/AIDS and has played a unique role in targeting hard-to-reach and vulnerable populations and partnering with individuals and communities to promote healthy behaviors and mitigate the impact of the disease.
“I am so grateful for the many Peace Corps volunteers, community change makers, and staff who have contributed to PEPFAR’s inspiring epidemic control achievements over the last two decades.”
Spahn further noted that her agency worked directly with people living with HIV and community-level institutions such as schools and health centers and that it “supports HIV/AIDS prevention efforts in 13 PEPFAR countries”.
“Staff, volunteers, and community counterparts, she said, collaborated “to organize and lead activities such as delivering Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe (DREAMS) programming, creating community gardens to support the nutritional needs of people living with HIV, and generating demand for testing and self-testing”.
According to her, “The Peace Corps’ continued presence in underserved Communities, our work with youth, and our longstanding partnerships with local health actors continue to be effective contributions to the coordinated HIV/AIDS response.”
Spahn further said the anniversary would challenge Peace Corps to double its efforts in sensitizing community leaders who are dedicated to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, “scale up opportunities for young people, and to work with other U.S. Government partners to more systematically localize efforts for sustained epidemic control.”
She restated the determination of the Peace Corps to enhanced fight against the health scourge to ensure HIV/AIDS is brought to an end by 2030 so that an AIDS-free generation could become a possibility.