Peace Corps Director and Ambassador Birx Discuss the Future of PEPFAR
Peace Corps Volunteers are fighting HIV/AID and winning! Here is the press release from Peace Corps.
“WASHINGTON, D.C., August 6, 2015 – Today Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet welcomed U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Deborah Birx, the head of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), for a town hall-style meeting at Peace Corps headquarters. During the discussion, Ambassador Birx and Director Hessler-Radelet spoke of PEPFAR’s progress and reiterated the importance of reaching epidemic control. Ambassador Birx also thanked Peace Corps volunteers for their work in the fight against HIV/AIDS, emphasizing the important role the agency plays in creating sustainable, community-led responses to HIV in countries around the world.
“The Peace Corps has been a critical contributor to PEPFAR’s success from the onset of the program,” said Ambassador Birx. “Peace Corps volunteers occupy unique positions of within the communities that they serve, which support PEPFAR’s ability to deliver life-saving HIV prevention, care, and treatment services to those in the greatest of need.”
Since PEPFAR’s inception 12 years ago, Peace Corps has been a key partner and currently sends volunteers to work in 26 PEPFAR countries. All Peace Corps volunteers who serve in Africa, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia are trained to be advocates and educators of HIV/AIDS prevention and care. Before leading the Peace Corps, Director Hessler-Radelet was actively involved in the establishment of PEPFAR and was a primary author of PEPFAR’s first strategic plan.
“PEPFAR is the largest effort by any nation to combat a single disease internationally, and it has saved millions of lives,” Director Hessler-Radelet said. “Peace Corps volunteers work directly with communities, drawing on their relationships and grassroots network in a way that delivers PEPFAR resources and proven interventions to the people who are most in need.”
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Let us not forget that this was a “W” initiative.
Absolutely. George W. Bush and his wife Laura very quietly have done major work in Africa around health issues. Not only is there this fight agains HIV/AIDS, but also helping to reduce cervical cancer rates.