Senior U.S. health official to attend ICASA conference in Harare

WITH two days to go before the 18th International Conference on HIV and AIDS and STIs (ICASA) United States of America embassy in Harare has announced the coming of  Ambassador Deborah Birx to attend the Conference,   scheduled to take place from November 29  through December 4.

By Edward Makuzva

Ambassador Birx, is a renowned medical expert in the field of HIV and AIDS, immunology, vaccine research, and global health, is the Coordinator of the United States Government Activities to Combat HIV/AIDS and U.S. Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy.

She oversees implementation of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease in history, as well as all U.S. Government engagement with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

Birx envisions that epidemic control and delivering an AIDS-free generation requires doing the “right thing in the right place at the right time.”

PEPFAR is the U.S. government initiative to save the lives of those affected by HIV and AIDS around the world.

“This historic commitment is the largest by any nation to combat a single disease internationally, and PEPFAR investments have also helped to alleviate suffering from other diseases across the global health spectrum.

“Since 2005, PEPFAR has provided US$650 million for HIV and AIDS interventions in Zimbabwe.

“This year, PEPFAR has committed $128 million to cover key treatment, prevention and testing initiatives to combat HIV and AIDS in Zimbabwe”, said the statement..

Statistics revealed the support has ensured that by 2015, 434,000 people receive HIV services, including antiretroviral therapy; over 156,000 voluntary medical male circumcisions to reduce incidences of HIV amongst men; and HIV testing and counseling for over 430,000 pregnant women.

The funding has also supported over 300,000 orphans, vulnerable children, and their caregivers in Zimbabwe by providing education, social protection, or economic strengthening support.

PEPFAR activities in Zimbabwe are coordinated by key Embassy agencies that include the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC- Zimbabwe) and the U.S.

PEPFAR is the U.S. government initiative to save the lives of those affected by HIV and AIDS around the world. This historic commitment is the largest by any nation to combat a single disea