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United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)
February 14, 2022

About Us

Who We Are

The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is the largest commitment by any nation to address a single disease in history, enabled by strong bipartisan support across ten U.S. congresses and four presidential administrations, and through the American people’s generosity. PEPFAR shows the power of what is possible through compassionate, cost-effective, accountable, and transparent American foreign assistance.

PEPFAR’s Interagency Model

PEPFAR is led and managed by the U.S. Department of State’s Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Health Diplomacy. In South Africa, PEPFAR is implemented by four U.S. Government departments and agencies, leveraging the power of a whole-of-government approach to controlling the HIV epidemic.

U.S. Department of State

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Peace Corps


What We Do

Since 2004, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), has partnered with the South African government to support HIV prevention, care, and treatment programs.  Saving lives and ending this epidemic is the U.S. Government’s most significant undertaking in South Africa.  And since the beginning, Americans and South Africans have worked side-by-side.

To date, the United States has invested more than eight billion dollars in South Africa since 2003 and eighty-five billion towards the global AIDS response through PEPFAR and as the leading donor to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.  This is the largest commitment ever by one country to address a single disease.

Our Priorities

  • Progress: When the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) was launched in 2003, an HIV diagnosis was a death sentence in much of the world; entire families and communities were falling ill. Over the past 19 years, death and despair have been overwhelmingly replaced with vibrant lives and hope. With the American people’s generosity, the United States has saved xx million lives and prevented millions of HIV infections through PEPFAR. Working together with our partners in South Africa, we have accelerated progress toward controlling the HIV/AIDS pandemic – community by community.
  • Policies: PEPFAR ensures every dollar is optimally focused for impact through data-driven policies, and supports partner countries to do the same.
  • Populations: PEPFAR reaches the populations that are most affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic with innovative solutions that meet their needs.
  • Partnerships: PEPFAR leverages the power of partnerships across multiple sectors to increase our impact and advance sustainability.

PEPFAR is Saving Lives in South Africa

South Africa has the largest population of people living with HIV and PEPFAR is working through our South African partners in collaboration with the Department of Health to prevent new HIV infections, link people living with HIV to lifesaving antiretroviral treatment, and ensure they can stay on treatment. Our activities are focused in 27 high-burden districts throughout South Africa and we are partnering with the South African government to provide antiretroviral treatment to more than four million South Africans.


PEPFAR provides the following services in South Africa:

  • HIV counselling and testing
  • Antiretroviral treatment (ART)
  • Condom distribution & promotion
  • Distribution & education about pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
  • Empowering adolescent girls and young women through DREAMS
  • Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC)
  • ART for pregnant women to reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission
  • Support for orphans and vulnerable children affected by HIV/AIDS
  • TB screening, preventive therapy, and treatment
  • Health systems strengthening
  • Community mobilization

All PEPFAR’s activities in South Africa are aligned with the South Africa’s National Strategic Plan for HIV, TB, and STIs 2017-2022.



PEPFAR Partnerships

Partnerships are the cornerstone of PEPFAR’s success. We need all sectors and diverse partners working together to achieve our collective goals.

PEPFAR South Africa supports more than 100 South African and international organizations working in more than 2250 facilities to reach our shared goals of expanding lifesaving treatment and preventing new infections. Our partners are the primary points of contact between PEPFAR and the South African public—they provide HIV and TB services in public health clinics, implement programs for orphans and vulnerable children, work in communities to educate the public about HIV prevention and testing, and empower adolescent girls and young women through DREAMS. Our partners also work behind the scenes to strengthen South Africa’s health system, by providing technical assistance, conducting research, and improving health data systems.

PEPFAR South Africa also works closely with the Government of South Africa, including the National Department of Health and Provincial Departments of Health, to coordinate our efforts. We all share the same goal—ensuring that all South Africans have the opportunity to live longer, happier, and more productive lives.

PEPFAR partners with and strengthens the capacity of civil society and communities, including faith-based communities and organizations, recognizing that successful and sustainable HIV/AIDS interventions must involve, be informed by, and tailored to those who we serve.

Our district support partners for COP21 (October 2021-September 2022 include:

Anova Health Institute


Broad Reach

Health Systems Trust

Right to Care


Wits Reproductive Health & HIV Institute (Wits RHI)



Developing Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe young women (DREAMS)

Announced on World AIDS Day in 2014, DREAMS is a global partnership between the U.S. Presidents’ Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Girl Effect, Johnson & Johnson, ViiV Healthcare and Gilead. DREAMS seeks to reduce new HIV infections in adolescent girls and young women in 10 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa, and 5 additional DREAMS like countries. The ultimate goal is to help girls develop into Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS free, Mentored, and Safe women. Through the DREAMS partnership, more than 2.5 million adolescent girls and young women have been reached with critical comprehensive HIV prevention interventions.

Why Adolescent Girls?

Despite considerable progress in the global HIV/AIDS response, adolescent girls and young women remain the most vulnerable to new HIV infections. Adolescent girls aged 15-19 are up to eight times, while young women aged 20-24 are three times, more likely to be infected with HIV than their male peers. The number of new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women (15-24 years) in South Africa is estimated to be around 850 per week. DREAMS is designed to change this picture and ensure that girls and young women enjoy an AIDS-free future.

DREAMS in South Africa

In partnership with the South African government, the cumulative sum of $256 million South African DREAMS Initiative funds a core package of evidence-based prevention interventions in 24 districts in South Africa.

DREAMS includes a package of evidence based behavioural, bio-medical and structural interventions that target not only adolescent girls and young women but also their parents/caregivers, communities and male sex partners. A core principle in DREAMS is the “layering” of these interventions; each layer of services in DREAMS provides additional protection against acquiring HIV.

DREAMS is not a moment, it is a movement. The government of South Africa created She Conquers, a national campaign that extends DREAMS beyond the twenty-four PEPFAR-supported districts.

DREAMS Districts

DREAMS programs support 24 health districts across 8 provinces:

  • Eastern Cape: Alfred Nzo, Buffalo City, OR Tambo
  • Free State: Lejweleputswa, Thabo Mofutsanyana
  • Gauteng: City of Johannesburg, City of Tshwane, Ekurhuleni, Sedibeng
  • KwaZulu-Natal: eThekwini, King Cetshwayo, Ugu, uMgungundlovu, Uthukela, Zululand
  • Limpopo: Capricorn, Mopani
  • Mpumalanga: Ehlanzeni, Gert Sibande, Nkangala
  • North West: Bonjala Platinum, Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, Ngaka Modiri Molema
  • Western Cape: City of Cape Town

PEPFAR Community Grants Program

The United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Community Grants Program was launched in 2004, the same year PEPFAR support began in South Africa. Since then, the program has funded 1,250 community-based organizations. The PEPFAR Community Grants Program provides direct one year funding to community-based organizations working in the PEPFAR supported districts with the highest HIV burden in South Africa. The organizations eligible for funding provide services with HIV counselling and testing, evidence-based HIV prevention and/or HIV related community-based care and support for people living with HIV (PLHIV).

As a critical component of PEPFAR, the Community Grants Program reaches local communities, builds the capacity of community-based organizations, and directly impact in the lives of those funded, including beneficiaries of the programs implemented and services provided by the organizations. The Community Grants Program has an annual call for applications across the 27 PEPFAR priority districts, with organizations selected for funding, through a competitive, multi-stage shortlisting and review process. The program currently provides support to 57 community-based organizations from across South Africa.

Each of the organizations funded through the Community Grants Program, plays a significant role in addressing the challenges we face in controlling the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Community based organizations are on the ground, easily accessible and often the first entry point for prevention, care and treatment services in communities.