Join the Coalition – Be Part of the Endeavor to Support PEPFAR

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program. This September the U.S. Congress will decide whether to ‘reauthorize’ PEPFAR. In essence, whether to maintain PEPFAR funds, political support, and the ability to set a comprehensive strategy for the next five years.

The Coalition and its membership are deeply aware of the essential role that PEPFAR plays in enabling all children and adolescents affected by HIV and AIDS to survive and thrive. We wish to express our support for PEPFAR, and to call for its reauthorization. We cannot control the AIDS epidemic without addressing the needs of children and adolescents. And we cannot do that without PEPFAR.

In this Lancet article, Coalition Scientific Advisers, Lucie Cluver and Lorraine Sherr, outline the vital importance of reauthorization, referencing the astounding, sustained effects the program has had on children living with HIV/AIDS and their families since 2003.

To be clear, PEPFAR will continue even if it is not reauthorized in September. PEPFAR funding remains steady, and PEPFAR leadership has been clear that its goal is still to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030. However, with reauthorization, PEPFAR can continue its work with confidence. Without it, PEPFAR will be operating on less certain footing. Less able to invest in long-term work so essential for tackling the complex barriers to ending AIDS, and with less political influence. This not only weakens PEPFAR, but the HIV response as a whole. As the
largest donor, PEPFAR sets global trends. If PEPFAR show signs of waning in the fight against AIDS, others will follow suit.

Allies and advocates have been working relentlessly, often behind the scenes, to educate U.S. legislators on PEPFAR’s impact to date, and the importance it still plays in communities around the world. The aim is to have a strong, unified advocacy effort to secure a multi-year
reauthorization with no major changes to the program.

We urge everyone to be a part of this endeavor. To show U.S. policymakers and the world, the wide range of partners, big and small, that are dedicated to the success of PEPFAR and its mission. We encourage you to express your support for PEPFAR – particularly that you are proud to work with PEPFAR on issues related to children, youth, and families – by adding your voice to the PROUD OF PEPFAR campaign.

Help others to show their support and be part of this endeavor. Download the social media toolkit and share with your networks on social media, using the hashtags #ReachAllChildren #ProudOfPEPFAR.

PEPFAR remains a valued part of the Coalition. We will continue to support PEPFAR to achieve progress, and to address the gaps for children and adolescents affected by HIV.

Catherine Connor and Corinna Csaky on behalf of The Coalition for Children Affected by AIDS