This World AIDS Day, we’re celebrating the significant progress made to end HIV/AIDS worldwide. We’ve come such a long way over the last 35 years but there’s still more work to be done.
HIV is the world’s leading infectious killer. Currently, there are more than 35 million people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide. Of these, 3.2 million are children. Additionally, AIDS is the number one cause of death among adolescents in Africa.
The HIV epidemic not only affects the health of individuals, it impacts households, communities, and the development and economic growth of nations. Many of the countries hardest hit by HIV also suffer from other infectious diseases, food insecurity, and other serious problems.
Imagine a world without HIV/AIDS. The world has committed to ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals—a very attainable objective.
Together, we’ve made significant strides in the fight against HIV/AIDS but more action is needed to end the epidemic.
Here at PCI, we envision a world where communities are able to provide for the health and well being of their members, and children and families can achieve lives of hope, good health and self-sufficiency. We envision an AIDS-free generation and an end to the AIDS epidemic.
Since the early 1990s, we’ve been active in the HIV/AIDS response and our work spans the range of prevention, care, treatment and support interventions in several countries around the world including three in sub-Saharan Africa.
We’re implementing 15 major HIV/AIDS-related programs funded by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through several USG agencies such as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Defense (DOD), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and in collaboration with hundreds of local, national and international organizations and partner agencies.
We remain committed to contributing to the UNAIDS Fast Track Approach and UNAIDS Global Targets to control the epidemic with 90-90-90 by 2020:
- 90% of those with HIV tested and know their status,
- 90% of those with HIV on treatment, and
- 90% of those on treatment with suppressed viral load reducing risk of transmission to others by 2020.
Carol Makoane, PCI’s Senior Technical Advisor, HIV/AIDS, said, “The next five years are crucial for meeting global UNAIDS targets, to fast-track the HIV response and maintain the gains made over the last 35 years.”
“As we reflect on how far we’ve come, our successes to-date, and the road ahead, let us all rededicate ourselves to the cause of effectively and efficiently responding to the HIV epidemic wherever we work through intensified efforts, renewed partnerships, and strategic programming to positively impact the lives of the beneficiaries we serve,” said Makoane.
Through PCI’s work in Zambia, over 63,239 individuals have been reached with HIV prevention messages, and over 38,000 have been tested for HIV through PCI’s mobile testing and counseling at military camps throughout the country. Additionally, cervical cancer screening, treatment, and referral services for service women and civilians have now been fully integrated with mobile HIV/AIDS services—almost 4,952 women have been screened to date in the Zambia program.
Our US Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program (DHAPP) program in Malawi, has reached over 28,000 people with prevention messaging and almost 12,000 people with HIV testing. The program supports the upgrade of antiretroviral therapy (ART), prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT), and male circumcision clinics and laboratories, while also engaging chaplains for disseminating HIV prevention messages to youth and couples.
In Botswana, we’ve partnered with USAID on our Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) and Gender project to address a number of the country’s challenges in meeting the needs of vulnerable children, women and their families/households. The objective of this program is to contribute to the national agenda of addressing factors that increase the vulnerability of OVC, adolescent girls and women, such as HIV/AIDS, chronic poverty, neglect, exploitation and abuse. By facilitating the formation of savings-led, social empowerment groups using PCI’s proven Women Empowered (WE) methodology, the program is supporting new livelihood opportunities for women and adolescent girls. Learn about the life-changing program:
Our work with sex workers is most prominent in India, where we’ve implemented programs targeted specifically at sex workers for nearly a decade. In partnership with the Tamil Nadu AIDS Initiative, PCI worked in Salem district on a four-year project funded by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which promoted behavior change and reinforced safer sexual practices to reduce the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS among sex workers and their clients. The program reached 1,555 female sex workers with clinical, psychosocial and livelihood opportunities.
We are equipped now more than ever to fight AIDS and to empower individuals and families to live healthier and more hopeful lives. We must continue to provide full access to life-saving HIV treatment and prevention services. And we are closer than we have ever been to achieving an AIDS-free generation.