Washington, DC (PRWEB) June 18, 2013
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) joined the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to mark PEPFAR’s 10 year anniversary and celebrate significant new milestones in the global effort to eliminate pediatric HIV/AIDs. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced that as of June 2013, one million babies globally have been born HIV-free thanks to PEPFAR support. Since PEPFAR’s inception in 2003, EGPAF has been a key implementer of PEPFAR-supported programs and is directly responsible for approximately 20 percent (213,000) of the one million averted pediatric infections. Today’s announcement highlights EGPAF’s crucial role in global effort to achieve an AIDS-free generation.
Secretary Kerry was joined by U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Eric P. Goosby, U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo), U.S. Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), and Dr. Richard Nehabi Kamwi, Namibian Minister of Health and Social Services to announce additional achievements, including 13 new countries that have reached the “tipping point” in the HIV epidemic—the point at which the annual increase in new patients on anti-retroviral therapy (ART) exceeds the annual number of new HIV infections.
EGPAF Ambassador Tatu Msangi, a mother living with HIV, was a featured guest speaker at the event. Msangi was diagnosed with HIV in 2004 while pregnant with her first child. Thanks to services provide by EGPAF and PEPFAR to prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV, Msangi’s daughter was born and remains HIV-free.
“I am honored to stand before you as a living example PEPFAR’s impact on the global effort to eliminate HIV/AIDS,” said Msangi. “Thanks to PEPFAR and its implementing partners, such as the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, I was able to access the treatment I needed so I could stay healthy and my daughter, Faith, could be born HIV-negative. My daughter is all the proof you need that an HIV-free generation is possible.”
Pediatric AIDS has virtually been eliminated in the United States and Europe but still, more than 900 babies are born HIV-positive every day, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, 57 percent of HIV-positive eligible adults receive HIV treatment, but only 28 percent of eligible children living with HIV have access to the medicines they need.
“We are proud to be a part of today’s event and celebrate the accomplishments of the last 10 years,” said Charles Lyons, EGPAF president and CEO. “As we learned today, many significant milestones have been achieved, but we still have a lot of work to do to eliminate pediatric HIV/AIDS. I am confident that as long as we are able to continue to build upon this exciting progress, an AIDS-free generation is within reach.”
EGPAF is currently one of the largest providers of PMTCT services in sub-Saharan Africa, and a leader in the global movement to end pediatric HIV/AIDS. To date, EGPAF has provided PMTCT and other health services to nearly 16 million women and their babies and operates more than 5,500 sites in 15 countries worldwide. Through PEPFAR and other partners, EGPAF strives to increase access to the treatments and programs necessary to eliminate pediatric HIV/AIDS worldwide.
About the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF):
EGPAF is a global leader in the fight against pediatric HIV/AIDS, and has reached more than 16 million women with services to prevent transmission of HIV to their babies. It currently works at more than 5,500 sites and in 15 countries to implement prevention, care, and treatment services; to further advance innovative research; and to execute global advocacy activities that bring dramatic change to the lives of millions of women, children, and families worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.pedaids.org.