World AIDS Day Roundup

December 02, 2013

Over the last few months, we have been busy tracking and analyzing a number of notable developments in the global AIDS space.  So in commemoration of World AIDS Day, marked annually on December 1st, here is a roundup of what we’ve been talking about, complete with links to our most recent work: 

Ambassador Eric Goosby recently stepped down from his post as US Global AIDS Coordinator after four impressive years of leadership and service at PEPFAR.  His tenure was marked by an emphasis on strengthening the evidence base behind PEPFAR’s work, a legacy that is already evident through an increase in research, implementation science and impact evaluation (some of which is highlighted below).  

The US Congress passed the PEPFAR Stewardship and Oversight Act of 2013, extending PEPFAR’s congressional authorization another five years and adding some important new requirements for better reporting.  We were particularly pleased to see that the bill requires annual targets for prevention, treatment, and care efforts including a description of how those targets will reduce the number of new HIV infections below the number of deaths among persons infected with HIV (my colleague Mead Over calls this the AIDS transition).

PEPFAR recently conducted its first impact evaluation workshop to support country teams that want to design and oversee impact evaluations for their programs.  If successfully carried out, these evaluations will help PEPFAR learn a lot about what makes their HIV/AIDS programs work (or not work).  CGD’s Mead Over served on the “faculty” of the workshop, and shares his experience here

Data presented at PEPFAR’s October 2nd Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) meeting show that African countries are struggling to retain patients on AIDS treatment, particularly at two important stages in the continuum of care:  that from diagnosis to care, where Africa loses 41% of patients, and that from initiation of treatment to retention, where Africa loses 30% of patients. While other studies have found higher rates of retention, the issue of retention and its importance to treatment success and avoidance of drug resistance is now on the agenda. New data from CDC – also highlighted at the SAB – shows why some facilities do better than others and what factors contributors to treatment success. 

PEPFAR has made progress in measuring child and household outcomes from its orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) programming.  This is a notable shift from defining and measuring services provided to OVCs, rather than the impact of the programs.  Establishing a focused set of outcomes – combined with a call for increased attention to robust evaluation design and adequate funding for evaluation efforts – is a solid step towards a more systematic understanding of PEPFAR’s impact through its OVC programming.

Looking ahead, the BBC will air tonight a 30-minute segment on the Global Fund titled “Where’s Our Aid Money Gone” for which Amanda Glassman was interviewed to discuss CGD’s recent report ‘More Health for the Money’. 

And finally, we’ll be watching the Global Fund’s fourth replenishment meeting this week where it’s hoping to raise $15 billion to support its work for the next three years.  Check out our blog in the coming weeks for new analysis on these developments and others in the weeks to come.


CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors, drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD is a nonpartisan, independent organization and does not take institutional positions.