Anti-AIDS program must build on successes, says report

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"PEPFAR has achieved — and in some cases surpassed — its initial ambitious aims," the report said. "That success has in effect 'reset' the baseline and shifted global expectations for what can be achieved in partner countries."

The IOM recommended that PEPFAR take the long view in its efforts to fight HIV and AIDS, fostering delivery systems and best practices that will serve AIDS-ridden countries in the future.

New policies should tighten the links between diagnosis and treatment for HIV/AIDS patients and encourage treatment adherence, the IOM said. PEPFAR must also encourage a greater focus on prevention, targeted services and program monitoring in partner countries, the report said. 

"As it moves forward, PEPFAR must continue to be bold in its vision, implementation, and global leadership," said international health expert Robert Black, who led the study.

He added, "During our visits to partner countries, we repeatedly heard PEPFAR described as a lifeline. People credit the initiative with restoring hope."

PEPFAR was launched by President George W. Bush in 2003 with $15 billion to spend against AIDS worldwide. It was subsequently reauthorized in 2008 with up to $39 billion through this year.

The IOM is part of the National Academy of Sciences. It lasted evaluated PEPFAR in 2007.