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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Srebrenica Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs countermeasure at UN More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants 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.
Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prisoni
X
Heather Murdock
July 01, 2015 8:59 PM
As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs