News / Health

Stanford Study Gives US Global AIDS Program High Marks

Carol Pearson
Former U.S. president George W. Bush is well remembered in Africa for his plan to help people suffering from AIDS.

In 2003, President Bush launched PEPFAR, the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS, to combat the AIDS pandemic in developing countries.

"With the approval of Congress, we'll devote $15 billion to fight AIDS abroad over the next five years, beginning with $2 billion in the year 2004," Bush said.

Much of the money went to relieve the suffering of AIDS victims in sub-Saharan Africa, the epicenter of the pandemic.

The U.S. Global AIDS coordinator who oversees PEPFAR is Ambassador Eric Goosby.  He recalls what it was like before the program was launched.

"AIDS was wiping out a generation and reversing health gains in Africa.  At that time, AIDS threatened the foundations of society," Goosby said.

Today a positive AIDS test no longer means certain death. Ambassador Goosby says it's almost impossible to overstate the U.S. contribution to fighting the AIDS pandemic. Former President Bush has called PEPFAR the greatest achievement of his presidency. A new Standford University assessment says PEPFAR has been essential to slowing the spread of HIV.

"On a global scale, about two thirds of all the people who live with HIV live in sub-Saharan Africa," said Dr. Eran Bendavid, who led the research.

Dr. Bendavid and other researchers studied more than a million and a half people in 27 African countries. Nine of these countries had partnership agreements with PEPFAR.  

"A lot of times, there are concerns that foreign aid disappears somewhere in the path between the coffers in Washington and the recipients on the ground," Bendavid said.

PEPFAR funded HIV education, prevention and treatment. And, the researchers found,  the aid actually got to the people who needed it.

"We estimate that in those nine countries, during that period between 2004 and 2008, about 740,000 adults did not die in association with the program," said Bendavid.

Ambassador Goosby describes the impact he believes PEPFAR has had. Before its implementation, he says, hospitals were overcrowded with people dying from AIDS.  

"I was in many hospitals in sub-Saharan Africa where you'd have an open ward and you'd have four or five people having grand-mal seizures happening at the same time. That was a very typical picture. That isn't happening any more," Goosby said.

Ambassador Goosby says most AIDS patients are now treated earlier, as outpatients, before opportunistic infections can set in.

One of the criticisms of PEPFAR is that it siphoned money away from research on other diseases and their treatments. But the Stanford University study found that in countries served by PEPFAR, people without HIV were also doing better.

"The mortality reduction was, if anything, larger in the general population than in the HIV-infected population," Bendavid said.

His research team did not look into why this happened, but Dr. Bendavid believes it could have been the result of improvements in the healthcare system, or because those in better health were able to care for those still in need.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

You May Like

Beloved Lion Killing Sparks Virtual, Real Life Outrage

Twitter, as usual, was epicenter for anger directed at Palmer, with some questioning his manhood, calling for him to be released into the wild More

Video Booming London Property Market a Haven for Dirty Money

Billions of dollars from proceeds of crime, especially from Russia, being laundered through London property market, according to anti-corruption activists More

Video Scouts' Decision on Gays Meets Acceptance in Founder's Hometown

One former Scout leader thinks organization will move past political, social debate, get back to its primary focus of turning boys into good citizens More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Bruce from: USA
July 01, 2012 9:25 PM
I was sitting in a pub one day and the customers were talking about how doctors need to go back to sewing up people and stop treating people for illness's because the drugs they have been prescribing them is giving them other illness's,and this was in Germany,so what do think they are saying in the US about doctors.Every single plant on this earth has a reason for being here.Use them and be healthy again.Stop looking into a test tube for a solution.Anybody who has studyed plants knows about their use's.Let's stop looking for something that is not there and use what is already here and stop killing Gods people because you are to little to say your sorry and walk away from it.

by: Bruce from: USA
July 01, 2012 9:04 PM
I was reading someplace where these people were using something like an oil that comes from the resins of marijuana for years and the HIV people were living alot longer with a better quality of life than they had without it's use.In the last year they have found that this oil cures cancer with no side affects.If it works why use this man made stuff that has side affects.Makes no sence to me.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’i
X
July 29, 2015 9:34 PM
Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.
Video

Video Racially Diverse Spider-Man Takes Center Stage

Whether it’s in a comic book or on the big screen, fans have always known the man behind the Spider-Man mask as Peter Parker. But that is changing, at least in the comic book world. Marvel Comics announced that a character called Miles Morales will replace Peter Parker as Spider-Man in a new comic book series. He is half Latino, half African American, and he is quite popular among comic book fans. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Historic Symbol Is Theme of Vibrant New Show

A new exhibit in Washington is paying tribute to the American flag with a wide and eclectic selection of artwork that uses the historic symbol as its central theme. VOA’s Julie Taboh was at the DC Chamber of Commerce for the show’s opening.

VOA Blogs