PEPFAR, the George W. Bush Institute, and UNAIDS will accelerate lifesaving efforts in eight African countries
Washington, D.C., May 11, 2018 — In advance of Mother’s Day, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the George W. Bush Institute, and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) today announced The Partnership to End AIDS and Cervical Cancer among HIV-positive women in Africa. Pending congressional approval, the United States will invest over $30 million through the renewed partnership. It will build on the earlier successes of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon by refocusing resources and advocacy efforts for greater impact in eight sub-Saharan African countries to prevent cervical cancer progression and mortality among HIV-positive women.
“Thanks to the generosity of the American people, PEPFAR has saved the lives of millions of HIV-positive women around the world,” said Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, M.D., U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy. “We must ensure these same women – mothers, daughters, aunts, and grandmothers – who are living with HIV and thriving do not succumb to cervical cancer. By focusing on eight African countries where the HIV prevalence rate in women is over 10 percent and cervical cancer mortality among women is the highest, this partnership will accelerate our lifesaving impact.”
“Building on the success of Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon, the Bush Institute is thrilled to enter this renewed partnership with PEPFAR and UNAIDS, which will have an even greater impact and save more lives,” said Holly Kuzmich, Executive Director of the Bush Institute. “Our work has saved thousands, but this partnership will reach millions. On the fifteenth anniversary of PEPFAR, there is not a more appropriate time to deepen our partnership and see the vision of President and Mrs. Bush come full circle – that women who survive AIDS also live full lives free of cervical cancer.”
The partnership will ensure efforts are more effective and at a lower cost by refocusing on reaching HIV-positive women in eight target countries: Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Women who are HIV-positive are 4-5 times more likely to develop invasive cervical cancer. According to UNAIDS, there are more than 3.5 million women living with HIV in these eight countries. The partnership also includes an accelerated strategy for prevention, screening, and treatment that would drastically reduce cervical cancer in HIV-positive women and significantly lower nationwide cervical cancer rates in sub-Saharan Africa.
“The partnership will allow us to respond to cervical cancer among women living with HIV like never before,” said Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of UNAIDS and Undersecretary General of the United Nations. “The partnership’s new strategy, which includes cervical cancer screening every two years for women living with HIV over the age of 30, aims to reduce cervical cancer incidence by 95 percent among this population in the targeted countries.”
More than 100,000 women are diagnosed annually with cervical cancer in sub-Saharan Africa, where it is the leading cancer killer of women.
PEPFAR is the United States government’s response to the global HIV/AIDS epidemic, which represents the largest commitment by any nation to address a single disease in history. Through the compassion and generosity of the American people, PEPFAR has saved and improved millions of lives, accelerating progress toward controlling and ultimately ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat. For more information, please visit www.pepfar.gov, and connect with PEPFAR on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
About the George W. Bush Institute
Housed within the George W. Bush Presidential Center, the George W. Bush Institute is an action-oriented, nonpartisan policy organization with the mission of developing leaders, advancing policy, and taking action to solve today’s most pressing challenges. For more information, please visit www.bushcenter.org.
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) leads and inspires the world to achieve its shared vision of zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination, and zero AIDS-related deaths. UNAIDS unites the efforts of 11 UN organizations – UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, UNDP, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Women, ILO, UNESCO, WHO, and the World Bank – and works closely with global and national partners towards ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals. Learn more at www.unaids.org and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.