PEPFAR And Mastercard Team To Fight AIDS In Africa

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On Monday (Sept. 18), during the 2017 Concordia Annual Summit, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and Mastercard announced a new public-private partnership aimed at accelerating progress toward controlling the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

In a press release, the two said the partnership will explore the use of digital technologies and data analytics to improve access to HIV/AIDS treatments and to improve the outcomes in Africa.  

“We have made extraordinary progress toward achieving HIV/AIDS epidemic control in several high-burdened African countries, but key gaps remain,” said ambassador Deborah L. Birx, M.D., U.S. global AIDS coordinator and special representative for global health diplomacy, in a press release announcing the partnership. “PEPFAR is thrilled to launch this pioneering partnership with Mastercard. By leveraging their extraordinary expertise in deploying digital solutions in resource limited settings, we can improve the health and well-being of the people that PEPFAR serves.”

As part of  the efforts, the partnership will use technology to advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Mastercard, for its part, has worked to improve the distribution and tracking of humanitarian aid, addressing some of the world’s most challenging issues. This includes digitizing healthcare management in settings where resources are limited and exploring new ways of using digital technology to support HIV/AIDS control.  

“PEPFAR research shows that the majority of the cost of HIV/AIDS treatment is related to service delivery, not the cost of drugs,” said Tara Nathan, executive vice president of public-private partnerships for Mastercard, in the same press release. “We believe innovative technology and service delivery models can help achieve greater efficiency in PEPFAR’s efforts, helping to prevent new HIV infections and reduce the number of AIDS deaths.”

PEPFAR was launched in 2003 and since been credited with changing the course of the HIV/AIDS pandemic.