Partners in Progress: amfAR Meets with PEPFAR Ambassador
amfAR’s public policy team continues to help guide the most successful global health program in history.
In 2002, the Congressional Black Caucus showed visionary leadership in sending a letter to President George W. Bush asking him to launch an initiative to fight the AIDS pandemic. President Bush not only responded, but established the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease: the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR. With strong bipartisan support, PEPFAR has saved 25 million lives.
Ambassador John Nkengasong, who now leads PEPFAR, has devoted his life to countering HIV/AIDS—both in the lab as a virologist and as the first Director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Born in Cameroon, he is the first person of African origin to oversee PEPFAR.
Approaching the 20th anniversary of PEPFAR and to mark the day the program’s legislation was proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2003, amfAR’s public policy team met with Ambassador Nkengasong to discuss his vision, the future of the program, and amfAR’s continued partnership. The public policy team also discussed the program’s fourth reauthorization, which Congress will consider this year. amfAR is committed to working with key bipartisan allies on Capitol Hill—including Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus co-chair, Congresswoman Barbara Lee—on reauthorization of this vital program.
PEPFAR didn’t become a success by chance. It was structured for success through legislation, process, focus, and coordination across agencies, which made it accountable for using the available funding to achieve results with urgency. amfAR’s public policy team created a series of infographics highlighting these structural factors and shared them with the Ambassador and his team. As the landscape of U.S. Global Health Security evolves, it’s critical that we remain focused on the key pillars that have made PEPFAR the most successful global health program in history and that we remain committed to its mission: to end HIV as a public health threat.
amfAR was very encouraged with the Ambassador’s vision and his commitment to end AIDS by 2030. His leadership and vision are essential to PEPFAR’s future success, and amfAR looks forward to a continued close partnership in our collective effort to make AIDS history.