I believe in giving credit where credit is due, so I feel the
need to highlight something really great that the American
government did in 2011 to stabilize economies and enhance peace
abroad. What's that? Providing life-saving HIV treatment for 13
That's right, through the
U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), USAID
provided crucial HIV treatment for 13 million people last year. 13
million teachers and nurses and business men and students and
mothers and fathers and babies. A generation kept alive through
medicines that used to be unavailable in poor places. In the best
yearly Mother's Day present ever, PEPFAR provided the medicines to
prevent HIV from spreading from 660,000 HIV-positive infected women
to their babies. That means that more than 200,000 infants were
born HIV-free who would have otherwise been infected. Best Mother's
Day present ever.
The AMPATH clinics in Kenya are supported through PEPFAR, and I
get to see how lives are changed for the 130,000 patients we have
cared for in those clinics. Mercy, who is back in school and
telling me all about her dreams to become a scientist. James, who
just started walking and could not be more plump and cute. Joyce,
who cried tears of joy when I told her that her baby was uninfected
thanks to the medicines she had taken during pregnancy and
breast-feeding. Beatrice, who used to be the child "people would
move away from because of the sores all over her body." Now, she is
a healthy eighth-grader, planning her high school coursework.
released their annual report about their work to Congress, and
I can only rejoice in the good that has been done. We can argue
about whether more can be done or what the best way to help really
is, but this is a great accomplishment. 13 million lives.
P.S. - No one from PEPFAR paid me to write this or endorsed this
blog in any way. Just one thankful physician-researcher expressing
her honest gratitude.