controlling its epidemic, and the HIV/AIDS pandemic continues to grow. The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS has estimated that more than 4 million people worldwide became newly infected with HIV in 2006, and unless prevention efforts are highly successful, millions more will become infected every year (UNAIDS, 2006). Of the nearly 7 million people in low- and middle-income countries now estimated to need ART or to face an early death, fewer than one-quarter are receiving the therapy (WHO, 2006), and millions more of those already infected with HIV will eventually need it. Fewer than 1 in 10 pregnant women infected with HIV in low- and middle-income countries are benefiting from ARVs to prevent transmission to their babies, and at most 12 percent of the children born to these women who require ART are receiving it (WHO, 2006). With ART and appropriate care, AIDS is a chronic disease—it can be managed but not cured—and people receiving ART will need to be on it for the rest of their lives. Only a fraction of the legions of devastated families and orphaned children are currently receiving the support services they need, and the number of children orphaned by AIDS globally is projected to exceed 20 million by 2010 (UNICEF, 2006).
The Committee believes that continued commitment by the United States, along with all other donors, to supporting the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic will be required until countries have developed sustainable programs, and that continued U.S. leadership is necessary to prevent complacency and battle fatigue and to bring the virus under control. In sustaining this commitment and this leadership, the United States will continue to answer the call from the global community:
AIDS is exceptional and the response to AIDS must be equally exceptional. It requires ongoing leadership on both the national and international levels. Twenty-five years into the epidemic, the global response to AIDS must be transformed from an episodic, crisis-management approach to a strategic response that recognizes the need for long-term commitment and capacity-building, using evidence-informed strategies that address the structural drivers of the epidemic. (UNAIDS, 2006, p. 17)
Chankova, S. 2006. Evidence-based planning of human resources for health: Examples from sub-Saharan Africa. Global Health Council Presentation, October 2006. Bethesda, MD: Abt Associates, Inc.
Dybul, M. 2005 (May 24). Integrated prevention, treatment and care: Network systems. Presentation at the PEPFAR Second Annual Field Meeting, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
EPN (Ecumenical Pharmaceutical Network). 2006. Annual report, 2005. Kenya: EPN Publications.
GHC (Global Health Council). 2005. Faith in action: Examining the role of faith-based organizations in addressing HIV/AIDS: A multi-country, key informant survey. Washington, DC: GHC.