PEPFAR at 20: Keeping the promise

Season 5, Episode 5,   Sep 06, 2023, 09:00 PM

2023 is a big year for PEPFAR. PEPFAR’s considered one of the greatest US foreign policy and global development achievements of the century; the program has saved upwards of 25 million lives since it launched in 2003. But PEPFAR is marking its 20th anniversary while fighting for its future. Its authorization expires Sept. 30th. Until a couple of months ago, most expected smooth sailing for a five-year reauthorization of the program, which has enjoyed deep and broad bipartisan support since its founding. Evangelical Christians, staunch conservatives, DC Democrats, progressive HIV activists, and public health leaders have championed PEPFAR year in and year out. But a handful of Republicans, including past PEPFAR allies, are pulling reauthorization into American abortion politics— despite US laws on the books that prohibit PEPFAR dollars from funding abortions. Supporters across the political spectrum, including many Christian conservatives, are now rallying to ensure this uniquely effective program continues. 

In this episode, Px Pulse talks to some of the people who put PEPFAR dollars into action, bringing life-saving medicines, prevention and healthcare to people living with HIV, orphans and other vulnerable communities. And we talk to health leaders who explain why PEPFAR’s approach represents a gold standard in advancing global health, and what’s at stake in this debate.