What is PEPFAR?

The United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is the U.S. government’s initiative to help save the lives of those infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS around the world.

PEPFAR was authorized by the U.S. Congress as the United States Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Act of 2003 (P.L. 108-25), as a 5-year, $15 billion initiative to combat global HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), and malaria primarily. PEPFAR also includes U.S. government funding of contributions to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (The Global Fund).

In 2008, PEPFAR was reauthorized by the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-293 or “Lantos-Hyde”).

This legislation authorized PEPFAR for an additional five years at up to $48 billion, including $39 billion for HIV and the Global Fund, $4 billion for TB, and $5 billion for malaria.  Reauthorization prioritized country partnerships and health systems strengthening (HSS).

Five years later in 2013, the PEPFAR Stewardship and Oversight Act of 2013 (P.L. 113-56) extended existing authorities and strengthened the oversight of the program.

PEPFAR remains a cornerstone of U.S. global health efforts and of the HIV response around the world. The year 2017 marks 14 years of PEPFAR’s remarkable achievements in helping protect people from HIV infection.

Through 2016, PEPFAR has globally supported antiretroviral treatment for more than 11.5 million and performed 11.7 million voluntary medical male circumcisions (VMMC).

In 2016, PEPFAR provided care for 6.2 million orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), training for 220,000 new health care workers, and supported testing and counselling for 74.3 million people, including 11.5 million pregnant women around the world.  By 2016, due to PEPFAR support, 2 million babies that would otherwise have been infected were born HIV-free.

More facts on the global PEPFAR program: https://www.pepfar.gov/documents/organization/264882.pdf



PEPFAR launched the “DREAMS” initiative on World AIDS day 2014. The DREAMS initiative was launched as a partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Girl Effect and Johnson and Johnson to provide more than $210 million to significantly reduce new HIV infections in adolescent girls and young women, to ensure that they have an opportunity to live Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe lives (DREAMS).

DREAMS aims to reduce new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women by 40% in 10 countries across Eastern and Southern Africa by the end of 2017.

In South Africa, an estimated 2,000 adolescent girls and young Women are newly infected with HIV every week. In 2015 PEPFAR South Africa initiated the DREAMS program to address the needs of this vulnerable population.

The DREAMS program is running in 19 sub-districts in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces; these are districts with the highest HIV transmission and prevalence in South Africa.

The PEPFAR South Africa DREAMS program is a component of the national adolescent girls and young women’s She Conquers campaign which aims to reduce HIV infections and the vulnerability of adolescent girls and young women.

PEPFAR DREAMS’ prevention interventions for adolescent girls and young women in the19 sub-districts leverages clinical, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, and community and orphans and vulnerable children platforms.

How DREAMS is working towards an AIDS-free generation: Global DREAMS Fact Sheet. 

Additional information on DREAMS South Africa: DREAMS SA fact sheet


How is PEPFAR benefitting South Africans? 

Since 2004 PEPFAR has partnered with South Africa and other partners working in South Africa like The Global Fund and United Nations agencies to work together to prevent and treat TB and HIV, saving the lives of millions of South Africans  – with PEPFAR investing over $5.6 billion in South Africa to tackle the HIV and TB epidemics.

PEPFAR South Africa continues to work in partnership with national, provincial and local government, with non-governmental and faith-based organizations, and with academia and the private sector to scale up life-saving HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment services.  PEPFAR’s program is aligned with the .

With PEPFAR funding and support, by end 2016, South Africa was able to provide 3.7 million South Africans with life-saving ART.

PEPFAR has also helped circumcise almost 2.8 million men since the start of South Africa’s circumcision drive in 2010.

Partnership Framework Implementation Plan (PFIP)

PEPFAR and the South African government jointly oversee the PEPFAR South Africa program under the Partnership Framework Implementation Plan (PDF). The PEPFAR South Africa Country Operational Plan 2017, Strategic Directions Summary presents the summary overview of the COP 2017 plan.