PEPFAR — For over fifteen years, CDC has played a critical role in PEPFAR’s effort

CDC PEPFAR15 - Saving Lives for the past fifteen years
For over fifteen years, CDC has played a critical role in PEPFAR’s efforts to save millions of lives and transform the global HIV/AIDS response. In 2003, the U.S. government launched the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR): the largest commitment ever by any nation to address a single disease. Fifteen years later, PEPFAR has saved millions of lives, prevented millions of new infections, and changed the course of the epidemic. CDC is helping drive progress against global HIV/AIDS using targeted prevention, care and treatment initiatives. For the first time, the global community has the opportunity to control the HIV/AIDS epidemic without a vaccine or a cure.

Leadership Statement

Hank Tomlinson, PhD, Director of CDC’s Division of Global HIV and TB

Message from Hank Tomlinson, PhD, Director of CDC’s Division of Global HIV & TB
Since its launch in 2003, PEPFAR has altered the course of the global HIV/AIDS epidemic—saving millions of lives around the world, improving the lives of countless others, and preventing millions of infections along the way. Through the compassion and generosity of the American people—and through outstanding partnerships—year after year, PEPFAR has accelerated global progress toward controlling and ultimately ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic as we know it.

Click here for the full message.

This year, as PEPFAR marks “15 Years of Saving Lives through American Generosity and Partnerships,” the year-long #PEPFAR15 campaign will highlight the tremendous impact, efficiency, and accountability of the largest commitment by any nation to address a single disease in history. As we celebrate this significant anniversary, more than a dozen high-burden countries are nearing a heretofore unimaginable goal: epidemic control by 2020. Remember, when PEPFAR began, only 50,000 people in all of Africa were on HIV treatment, and today—with almost 21 million men, women, and children on HIV treatment (13.3 million of whom are supported by PEPFAR, with CDC accounting for a significant majority of PEPFAR’s treatment expansion)—we are talking about controlling this epidemic.

This is a remarkable achievement driven by transparent, accountable, cost-effective, and innovative efforts in which CDC is proud to have played a leading role. While we are proud of our contributions, PEPFAR has always fundamentally been about partnerships—among U.S. government agencies, between the U.S. and host-country governments, and with non-governmental organizations. Since 2003, it has been the power of partnership that has pushed this effort forward, made it successful, and ensured that it is sustainable.

This 15th anniversary is a milestone along a long road on which we are still traveling, but today, our destination is closer at hand than ever.

Meet the People Who Have Made CDC a Key Partner in PEPFAR’s 15 Years of Progress

Many CDC staff members have been a part of this remarkable effort right from the start.

15 Years in Words and Numbers

CDC’s contributions help PEPFAR accelerate progress toward global targets for HIV epidemic control.

15 Years of Progress – Stories from the Field

Eugene McCray

CDC Global AIDS Pioneer Eugene McCray Reflects on PEPFAR’s Early Days

In 2000, one year after initial funding was authorized to support the Clinton Administration’s “Leadership and Investment in Fighting an Epidemic initiative” (LIFE), Eugene McCray, MD was named the first director of CDC’s Global AIDS Program (GAP).

mom holds her child

The Power of Partnerships: Global Elimination of Mother-to-Child HIV Transmission

The theme for PEPFAR’s 15th anniversary observance is “15 Years of Saving Lives Through American Generosity and Partnerships” because, since its inception, PEPFAR has put partnerships at the center of its work.

group sitting beneath a shelter

Community Adherence Clubs: Breaking Down Barriers to Treatment in Namibia

“Are you tired of waiting at the clinic just to collect your antiretroviral therapy (ART)? Would you rather come just once a year? Ask the nurse today about joining a community adherence club (CAC)!” announces Simataa, a registered nurse at a clinic in the Zambezi Region of northeast Namibia.

Couple smiles and stands together

Reaching Boys and Men in Malawi: A Village Chief Inspires His Community to Fight HIV

One breezy morning, Bobby Nduwaluwa, 52, walked into the Malembo Health Centre in Lilongwe District in Malawi to undergo voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC).

Vei Jonas talks in front of a council

A Decade of PEPFAR Support, A Life Regained in Côte d’Ivoire

My name is Vei Jonas, and I am 63 years old. I have lived in Man (in western Côte d’Ivoire) since 2004. I have three daughters who range in age from 33 to 12 years old.

healthcare worker examines baby

PEPFAR’s 15-Year History Informs Country Operational Planning

In 2003, when PEPFAR began its partnership with Rwanda, less than 1,000 people living with HIV had access to life-saving treatment. Fifteen years later, PEPFAR supports close to 95,000 HIV-positive people on treatment.

Namulindwa Rose

Namulindwa Rose: 15 Years of PEPFAR Care and Still Patient 0001

Rose learned she was HIV-positive after losing her husband to the same disease. At the time, she could only access HIV treatment from the local private clinic and the medicines were cost-prohibitive.

mother holds her child

15 Years of Life – and 10 Healthy Children – Thanks to PEPFAR and CDC

Madina was a mother of four when she discovered her HIV-positive status in 2002. After PEPFAR launched in 2003, Madina was one of the first clients at the Reach Out Mbuya Parish HIV/AIDS Initiative. She eventually gave birth to six more HIV negative babies.

PEPFAR at 15: A Story of Hope from Uganda

Fifteen years ago, when PEPFAR was created, only 50,000 people in Africa were on lifesaving HIV treatment. New results released in May 2018 showed that the program now supports over 14 million men, women, and children on treatment.

“Over the past 15 years, PEPFAR has transformed the impossible into the possible by rapidly accelerating access to lifesaving HIV prevention and treatment services,” said Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, M.D., U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator. “We have not only saved more than 14 million mothers, fathers, daughters, and sons, but also accelerated global progress toward ending AIDS as a public health threat.”

In the video above, meet one of PEPFAR’s first treatment recipients, John Robert Engole, from Uganda and hear his remarkable story of survival thanks to PEPFAR’s lifesaving programs.


CDC’s Division of Global HIV & TB offers the following resources demonstrating CDC’s impact and support of PEPFAR.

HIV Factsheet

An overview of CDC’s global efforts and key initiatives helping provide HIV prevention, care, and treatment in over 50 countries

CDC’s Contributions and Impact

New data highlights CDC’s contributions, as part of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, toward global efforts to control the HIV and TB epidemics.

Global HIV Overview

CDC’s impact and focus on accelerating HIV treatment and prevention worldwide using a precision public health approach

Social Media Cards

Shareable social media graphics that highlight the burden of TB, global progress to date, and CDC’s leadership to help end the epidemic