A $100 million grant from the U.S. government has been earmarked to help fight AIDS over the next five years in the Caribbean, which has the second highest AIDS infection rate outside of sub-Saharan Africa. Acting U.S. Ambassador in Guyana Karen Williams says the agreement will provide funds to treat people in a dozen nations in the Caribbean region, including Suriname, the Bahamas, and Belize. In 2009, Caribbean countries that received funds included Barbados, Belize, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. Williams said Tuesday (May 11, 2010) that countries can start to request funds next month from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
Description: Launched in 2003 by former President George W. Bush, PEPFAR is the largest effort by any nation to combat a single disease. PEPFAR has achieved remarkable success in expanding access to HIV prevention, care and treatment in low-resource settings. As of September 30, 2009, PEPFAR directly supported antiretroviral treatment for over 2.4 million people. In 2009, PEPFAR directly supported more than 11 million people with care and support programs. Throughout its history, PEPFAR supported prevention of mother-to-child transmission programs allowed nearly 340,000 babies of HIV-positive mothers to be born HIV-free.