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HIV Treatment: Saving Lives, Preventing New Infections

CDC plays a unique and essential role in the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. CDC uses decades of expertise in public health science and longstanding relationships with Ministries of Health to build strong national HIV/AIDS programs and sustainable public health systems that prevent new HIV infections, save lives, and provide hope to people and countries crippled with HIV/AIDS.

Watch on YouTube | CDC Responds to HIV Tanzania


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, works 24/7 to protect the American people from disease, including those that begin overseas. In the fight against global HIV/AIDS, CDC plays a unique and essential role in the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, PEPFAR. Today, 34 million people are living with HIV, most in sub-Saharan Africa. Every year, 2.7 million more people are infected. Almost 400,000 of these new infections occur in children, and nearly 90% of them are due to mother-to-child HIV transmission. This type of transmission is almost entirely preventable, and has been nearly eliminated in the developed world. Science shows using antiretroviral drugs, can prevent new infections in children and keep their mothers alive. Antiretroviral drugs can also prevent new infections in uninfected partners of HIV positive people. This strategy can dramatically reduce new HIV infections and help turn the tide in the 30-year HIV/AIDS epidemic. As the U.S. science-based public health and disease prevention agency, CDC draws on decades of technical expertise in public health science and support for Ministries of Health in over 75 countries. CDC's unique workforce consists of highly trained clinicians, epidemiologists, public health advisors, and health scientists. Through PEPFAR, these experts work side-by-side with countries to build strong national programs and sustainable public health systems that can respond effectively to the global HIV/AIDS epidemic and to other diseases that threaten the health and prosperity of the global community.

As of September 2011, CDC through PEPFAR has helped support life-saving antiretroviral drug treatment for more than 3.9 million men, women, and children. CDC works to identify the most cost-effective and efficient practices that will lease to more live saved at lower costs. Annual costs for treating patients through PEPFAR have dropped dramatically, from nearly $1,100 per patient in 2004 when the program began to $335 in 2011. This translates into more lives saved, more productive adults, more stable economies for countries, and a safer, healthier world for everyone. CDC is supporting PEPFAR goals for an AIDS-free generation and the beginning of the end of AIDS as announced in late 2011 by Secretary of State Clinton and President Obama. Clinton: Once more our efforts have helped set the stage for a historic opportunity, one that the world has today to change the course of this pandemic and usher in an AIDS-free generation. President Obama: We can beat this disease, we can win this fight. We just have to keep at it, steady, persistent, today, tomorrow, every day until we get to zero.

Today, CDC is working with countries to focus their efforts on high impact, proven interventions and continues to conduct research on preventing new HIV infections, ultimately saving more lives, and turning the tide in the epidemic. Dr. Warui: CDC has been a help to us because we are now able to remove the [inaudible] today and put them on ARVs that prolong their lives, improve their quality of life. CDC has really helped us to put a program that helps these children feel that they are loved and they are integrated back to school. Without this help, we would not be able to take care of these children. Coptic is one of CDC's faith-based partners. Here in 2011 more than 4000 consultations with HIV infected children provided lifesaving care. Over 200 mothers received medicine to prevent transmitting HIV to their babies. Working with Kenyans, CDC saves lives, while controlling the spread of diseases at their source.

  • Page last reviewed: July 20, 2012
  • Page last updated: July 20, 2012
  • Content source: Global Health
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