Celebrating 20 Years of PEPFAR: Science Summit Highlights Impact of U.S. Investments Toward Ending HIV in Uganda

Press Release

Celebrating 20 Years of PEPFAR: Science Summit Highlights Impact of U.S. Investments Toward Ending HIV in Uganda

Kampala, February 1, 2023 – The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) celebrated 20 years of unprecedented impact in Uganda’s fight to end HIV/AIDS by publishing a study, ‘Scale-Up of HIV Antiretroviral Therapy and Estimation of Averted Infections and HIV-Related Deaths — Uganda, 2004–2022.’ The study, shared this week at the annual PEPFAR Science Summit in Kampala, highlights the success of U.S. investments and partnerships in Uganda through PEPFAR, a program that transformed the global AIDS response and laid a marker for America’s commitment to countries most affected by the AIDS epidemic.

The study reveals that a massive scale-up of the PEPFAR-supported antiretroviral therapy (ART) program in Uganda from 2004 to 2022 helped avert almost 600,000 HIV-related deaths, as well as nearly 500,000 new HIV infections, including more than 230,000 infections among HIV-exposed infants.

“This is one of the many studies and programmatic presentations shared at this year’s PEPFAR Uganda annual Science Summit that aims to highlight the remarkable occasion of PEPFAR’s 20th anniversary,” said PEPFAR Uganda Country Coordinator Mary Borgman. “The findings highlight the success of U.S. investments in Uganda, which are founded on strong partnerships between U.S. PEPFAR-implementing agencies, the Uganda Ministry of Health, and collaboration with partners.”

The U.S. government has supported HIV and tuberculosis (TB) research in Uganda since 1991. With the establishment of PEPFAR in 2003, Uganda became the first country to provide PEPFAR-supported ART for HIV treatment. To date, PEPFAR has invested over $5 billion in HIV prevention, care, and treatment services in Uganda, and has also contributed world-class PEPFAR-supported HIV and TB research.

According to UNAIDS data, 1.4 million Ugandans are estimated to be living with HIV.  More than 1.3 million of them are currently receiving PEPFAR-supported HIV treatment. The first person in the world to receive PEPFAR-supported HIV treatment almost 20 years ago is a Ugandan who is alive and thriving, further demonstrating the success of this lifesaving program.

“Going forward, efforts will focus on identifying all persons with HIV infection and linking them to effective ART,” Borgman said. “PEPFAR remains committed to a continued strong partnership with the Government of Uganda and other stakeholders toward ending the global AIDS epidemic by 2030 and safeguarding the long-term impact.”

Now in its fourth year, the annual PEPFAR Science Summit is a dedicated U.S. Mission Uganda-led platform that brings together researchers and scientists from the United States government [the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, and U.S. Agency for International Development], Uganda’s Ministry of Health and U.S. government implementing partners in Uganda, to share emerging scientific research to inform HIV and TB program implementation and related policies. Some high-impact Ugandan studies presented at summits in 2020-2022 include giving new, shorter medication regimens for TB in people living with HIV; assessing how community-wide HIV testing with universal HIV treatment for people with suppressed viral load can help reduce new cases at a population level; and the impact of long-acting injectable medications for HIV prevention among high-risk women.

Additionally, PEPFAR has strengthened Uganda’s public health system by building the workforce and expertise, and setting up health systems, including surveillance, data, laboratory, and supply chains, that have proven resilient to shocks and adaptable to effectively respond to other public health threats, like COVID-19 and Sudan Ebolavirus disease.

To learn more about PEPFAR’s impact, saving more than 25 million lives and dramatically improving health in more than 55 partner countries, visit  www.state.gov/pepfar.

For additional information, please contact:

Dorothy Nanyonga, Information Assistant
U.S. Mission Uganda, Tel: +256-772-138-194
Email: KampalaPress@state.gov