On January 31, 2003, President George W. Bush announced an historic commitment to combat the HIV and AIDS pandemic. The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) mitigates the effects of HIV/ AIDS worldwide, targeting the fifteen most affected countries, including Zambia. USAID is one of five U.S. government agencies in Zambia that manage PEPFAR funds under a single strategy led by the U.S. Ambassador to Zambia, Mark C. Storella.
Since 2004, Zambia has received over $1.7 billion of support through PEPFAR. With PEPFAR funding, the U.S. government supports the Zambian Ministry of Health and the Zambia National AIDS Council’s response to HIV/AIDS by focusing on prevention, care, and treatment. In Zambia, PEPFAR funds support more than 100 partners and 250 sub-partners, including more than 95 local organizations to implement HIV programs in voluntary testing and counseling, prevention of mother-to-child transmission, antiretroviral therapy, male circumcision, management of opportunistic infections, palliative care, laboratory services, logistics, and supply chain management. USAID employs PEPFAR funding to achieve maximum impact. With funding from PEPFAR, USAID implementing partners have reached more than a million individuals with HIV prevention interventions, more than 220 thousand pregnant women received testing and counseling services during antenatal care visits at USAID-supported sites and over 20 thousand HIV-positive women received prophylaxis to prevent the transmission of HIV to their babies. Nearly 25 thousand males were circumcised to reduce the risk of HIV infection and USAID outreach programs conducted more than a million testing and counseling sessions.
USAID also uses PEPFAR funding to educate the Zambian public about HIV issues and influence behavior change. For example, USAID programs promote abstinence for young people and sexual fidelity in adult relationships.
Further, using PEPFAR funds, USAID helps care for those who are HIV positive. By September 2011, nearly 150 thousand people were receiving anti-retroviral therapy at over 150 USAID-supported anti-retroviral therapy sites across Zambia. PEPFAR-funded USAID projects also strengthen procurement and logistics systems to ensure the availability of HIV test kits, medication to prevent the transmission of HIV from mother to child, anti-retroviral drugs, and drugs to combat opportunistic infections in HIV positive patients.