Wednesday, October 8, 2008

SIECUS Releases 2008 PEPFAR Country Profile Updates

U.S. Assistance to Countries Most Affected by HIV/AIDS Shows

Politics and Ideology Undermining Prevention

The Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS) is pleased to announce updates to our 2005 Country Profiles. These updates provide information on the status of HIV/AIDS-prevention funding given through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). There are 15 focus countries: Botswana, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Guyana, Haiti, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, and Zambia.

While PEPFAR has the potential to do much good – and is doing so when it comes to care and treatment – the 2008 updates show that in virtually all of the focus countries we need both more prevention funding and an emphasis on evidence-based prevention. Prevention is the third part of the “emergency plan,” but it has been underfunded and beset by political and ideological restrictions. This is especially the case among groups most at risk such as young women, commercial sex workers, and men who have sex with men. Most problematic is PEPFAR’s continued and intentional prioritization of unproven abstinence-only programs, coupled with a denigration of condoms in efforts to combat the disease, that are rife in nearly every one of the 15 focus countries.

In our updates, SIECUS also provides seven recommendations that would drastically improve PEPFAR’s prevention programming and provide greater transparency and accountability for how these dollars are being spent.

To view the 2008 PEPFAR Country Profile Updates or the original 2005 Country Profiles, go to With any other questions or for more information, contact William Smith at or 202-265-2405.

Related: Read this RH Reality Check post PEPFAR's Target Countries Need Sexual Health Information, Not Abstinence-Only

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