Global Health Experts Call on Incoming Biden Administration to Devote $1B to Expand DREAMS Program to End AIDS Epidemic

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, December 01, 2020

CONTACT: Madison Donzis | [email protected] 

Global Health Experts Call on Incoming Biden Administration to Devote $1B to Expand DREAMS Program to End AIDS Epidemic

The Center for Health and Gender Equity Commemorates World AIDS Day 2020

WASHINGTON, DC -- Today, World AIDS Day, the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) is calling on the incoming Biden Administration to make a major commitment to eradicating the AIDS epidemic by urging President Biden to commit more than $1b in additional funding for the DREAMS program as part of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe) is the first HIV prevention program aimed at adolescent girls and young women, which combines biomedical approaches like oral PrEP with structural approaches like community education to change norms on sexual violence, and behavioral approaches like education and access to internal and external condoms. The DREAMS program has proven itself to be extremely successful, with data last year showing that DREAMS had reduced new HIV diagnoses among adolescent girls and young women by 25 percent or more in nearly all regions implementing the DREAMS initiative. 

“Investing in the health and rights of adolescent girls and young women is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do because it contributes to the overall health and well-being of communities and countries. CHANGE has consistently heard from young women who are service providers and advocates in Malawi, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, that more resources are needed to ensure that adolescent girls and young women are at the table to design and implement programs and expand DREAMS to more communities,” explained Serra Sippel, President of CHANGE. “While DREAMS has seen enormous success on the individual and epidemiological level, there are constraints in both the policy and practice of the program that keep it, and adolescent girls and young women, from reaching their potential - and that is most simply a lack of funding.” 

UNAID's newly published 2020 World AIDS Day Report Prevailing Against Pandemics by Putting People at the Center outlines a new set of proposed targets to achieve by 2025 to get countries back on track to ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030. The 2025 targets put people at the center, especially the people most at risk of HIV including adolescent girls and young women.

For the past three years, the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), a global health nonprofit, graded various US government agencies on how effective they are in combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic - and for the past three years, the US government as a whole has earned a B for its HIV/AIDS response efforts. 

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE US GOVERNMENT SCORES ON HIV/AIDS PREVENTION AND TREATMENT HERE: https://srhrindex.srhrforall.org/ 

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