THE United States (US), President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) says it will spend not less than US$360 million on programs meant to support Key Populations in countries where PEPFAR is implementing HIV programs.
The developments come hot on heels of the 2018 International AIDS Conference which was held in Amsterdam where a number of programs meant to scale up HIV prevention amongst various societal groups were launched. According to PEPPFAR’s fact sheet, the US$360 million injection would go a long in bridging to gaps that exists with regards to access to to primary health services by high risk populations.
“We will only control and ultimately end the HIV/AIDS epidemic if we address the underlying issues that prevent people from accessing HIV services, including formal/informal fees, human rights violations, stigma, discrimination, and violence. When any person is stigmatized or unable to access services due to discrimination, the health and dignity of everyone in the community are threatened and the epidemic continues to expand rather than contract.
“PEPFAR remains deeply committed to expanding key populations’ non-discriminatory access to quality, lifesaving HIV prevention and treatment services. In the next 12 months, PEPFAR intends to spend over $360 million to support key populations across the countries where we work,” said PEPFAR.
The fund according to PEPFAR will be accomplished with over $260 million in key populations-focused resources implemented through 2018 Country Operational Plans and ts strategic investment of nearly $100 million in resources previously committed for the Key Populations Investment Fund, which will primarily fund indigenous organizations that are reaching key populations with HIV services at the community level.
“These investments will be complemented by ongoing PEPFAR-supported initiatives that are tailored to the unique
needs of key populations and which strengthen the implementation capacity of key population-led and other civil
society organizations, such as: the LGBT Fund – A $10 million partnership with the Elton John AIDS Foundation to strengthen organizations working to meet the HIV-related needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean.
“The Robert Carr Civil Society Networks Fund – A global partnership that strengthens civil society networks and
helps populations most in need of HIV services, to which PEPFAR is both a founding and the largest donor.”
Meanwhile, PEPFAR is celebrating its 15th annivessary amidst indications that the HIV/AIDS burden has been highly reduced in countries where it has its operation which include Zimbabwe, Namibia among a host of others.