On December 1, GAO joins the global community in commemorating World AIDS Day—to remember lives lost, celebrate past achievements, and highlight the ongoing international effort to address the pandemic affecting millions of people.
For more than 15 years, GAO has examined the U.S. government’s efforts in the international response to HIV/AIDS. Over the past decade, U.S. government investments through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, known as PEPFAR, represent the largest commitment by any nation to combat a single disease.
This year’s World AIDS Day themes—focus, partner, achieve—echo the strategy laid out in the PEPFAR Blueprint for an AIDS-Free Generation that a number of federal agencies are implementing. Our reports on global HIV/AIDS have touched on these themes. For example:
- Focus. We reported that significant reductions in per-patient treatment costs allowed substantial increases in the number of people receiving treatment. To help partner countries further expand their treatment programs, we recommended that PEPFAR expand the use of in-depth cost studies and broaden the scope of its expenditure analysis tool.
- Partner. We reported on PEPFAR’s efforts to align activities to partner countries’ national HIV/AIDS strategies and promote country ownership. We also examined PEPFAR’s efforts to strengthen the supply chains needed to deliver medications to patients and made recommendations aimed at reducing the risk of waste and loss.
- Achieve. We have recommended improvements to the way PEPFAR reports its results to Congress and the public, collects and uses key treatment program data, and bolsters program evaluations. PEPFAR’s 2014 quality strategy and evaluation standards both cite our work in these areas.
Taken together, our work helped inform Congress’s 2013 reauthorization of the PEPFAR program. In addition, the Institute of Medicine and Center for Global Development have cited our work in their PEPFAR studies and analyses (see p.81).