***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***
November 29, 2018
World Relief Calls for Renewed Attention to AIDS on PEPFAR 15th Anniversary, World AIDS Day
Baltimore, Md. – World Relief commends President Trump and Vice President Pence’s commitment to combat HIV/AIDS, which was reflected today in the promise of $100 million in new funding to address key gaps in controlling and preventing the disease. This commitment is critical given a huge need for testing and treatment for those living with HIV. It’s estimated that more than 36.9 million people worldwide are currently living with HIV, 1.8 million of whom are children. Approximately 5,000 new HIV infections are contracted every single day and 1 million lives are lost each year to AIDS-related illness. The announcement coincides with the 15th anniversary of President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and World AIDS Day on Saturday, December 1.
We celebrate that PEPFAR has saved over 17 million lives, with a record 14.6 million people currently receiving life-saving antiretroviral treatment through PEPFAR funding. Testing and treatment for HIV not only prolong life and enable infected individuals to live normal lives, but they may be able to reduce transmission to others to almost zero.
The church has a critical role in helping to get people tested and treated, and World Relief is pleased to catalyze church mobilization efforts in many countries. We do so as we believe it is absolutely crucial that efforts are focused on preventing the transmission of HIV from ever occurring between couples, mothers and their unborn or newly born infants and youth.
Presidents Bush, Obama and Trump have provided leadership in the global fight against HIV and eight successive Congresses have approved funding. We are grateful for this historic commitment and urge Congress and the Administration to continue to support HIV/AIDS advocacy, prevention and treatment funding. The progress has been substantial but growing populations present growing risk of HIV prevalence around the world.
We are proud of the contribution churches are making in this global effort. World Relief will continue to work with churches on the front lines throughout Africa and across the globe. We are resolved to continue our efforts until all needing help receive it, and there is not one more new infection.
About World Relief:
World Relief is a global Christian humanitarian organization that seeks to overcome violence, poverty and injustice. Through love in action, we bring hope, healing and restoration to millions of the world’s most vulnerable women, men and children through vital and sustainable programs in disaster response, health and child development, economic development and peacebuilding, as well as refugee and immigration services in the U.S. For 75 years, we’ve partnered with churches and communities, currently across more than 20 countries, to provide relief from suffering and help people rebuild their lives.
Learn more at worldrelief.org.