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Bush Signs Historic Bill Reauthorizing PEPFAR

President Bush signs legislation reauthorizing PEPFAR for another five years

President Bush signs legislation
 reauthorizing PEPFAR for
another five years

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Bush has signed into law legislation that reauthorizes the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief through 2013.

The new legislation dramatically increases the financial commitment from the U.S. to this global fight – authorizing up to $48 billion to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria over the next five years.

At the signing ceremony on July 30, President Bush said, "Defeating HIV/AIDS once and for all will require an unprecedented investment over generations. But it is an investment that yields the best possible return – saved lives." He added that "HIV/AIDS is still one of the world's greatest humanitarian challenges, no question about it. But it is a challenge we're meeting."... Continued »

Concurrent Partner Campaign Catches Botswana's Eye

PSI billboards question the logic behind popular sayings about taking “small houses.”

PSI billboards question the logic behind popular sayings about taking “small houses.”

GABORONE – The bright red and yellow billboards along Gaborone’s streets are hard to miss and the messages they contain are no less colorful: “People say that small houses strengthen relationships … But having small houses spreads HIV.”

A confused visitor might mistake the reference for something as benign as real estate. But the local audience won’t miss the real meaning of “small houses” as casual sexual relationships – a taboo topic normally whispered and joked about behind closed doors. Continued »

If you think your job is stressful, think again

Francistown health workers lay flat on the ground for a stress-reduction exercise.

Francistown health workers lay flat on the ground for a stress-reduction exercise.

GABORONE – His day starts with a counseling session for a 7-year-old orphan who is HIV positive. Before lunch, he sees three more clients who have recently tested positive and are having trouble coping. Before the end of the day, he has dealt with clients who have been raped, physically abused and attempted suicide.

This is a day in the life of a Botswana social worker. Unfortunately, his story is not unique. Health workers spend day after day dealing with the stress of other people’s lives, yet rarely does anyone ask about the toll their job may be putting on them.

The burden of HIV/AIDS on Botswana’s health care system, coupled with historic and chronic shortages of health manpower has compelled the government to focus more on the needs of health workers and find ways to remedy what ails them. Continued »