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Mothers2mothers – a charitable association of Joey Horn – recently went to the US Capital of Washington, DC to celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. The anniversary marks a great milestone in the US government’s work towards ending HIV/AIDS, and improving the lives of millions of people around the world. For more information on the work of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, please refer to the attached PDF.

Mothers2mothers co-founder Robin Smalley was joined in Washington, DC by one of the charity’s earliest clients – and a Mentor Mother based in South Africa – Babalwa Mbono, and her daughter Anathi. The three representatives from mothers2mothers had an exciting day that was filled with media interviews as well as trips to see some of Washington, DC’s most famous sites, and the day finished with a celebratory event at the Dirksen Senate building.

In interviews by Voice of America’s ‘Africa 54’ and Good Morning Washington, Babalwa and Anathi were able to share their own HIV stories, as well as being giving the opportunity to explain the positive impact of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, both personally and in the wider community.

Babalwa told the interviewers how she tested positive for HIV whilst she was pregnant with Anathi, during a time when a positive result was often a death sentence for both mother and child. Babalwa went on to explain how mothers2mothers helped her to understand how to stay healthy with a HIV diagnosis, and how to ensure that Anathi would not become infected. Reflecting on how attitudes towards HIV have changed, Babalwa noted how important education, reduced stigma and proper treatment are in the fight against the disease. Please watch the embedded short video for further information on PEPAR’s work with women and girls.

The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief has been a highly successful programme in the fight against HIV/AIDS, with the US government investing nearly $75 billion towards the global response to the disease. It is estimated that the substantial investment from the US has saved around 13 million lives and, as a consequence, has enabled over 2.2 million babies to be born free of the disease.

The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief was brought to life under George W. Bush in the early 2000s, at a time when the US and many other developed countries had gained epidemic control of the HIV/AIDS crisis, and when mother-to-child HIV transmissions had been almost entirely eliminated. Whilst the spread of HIV/AIDS in developed countries was largely under control, at the same time in less developed countries such as Africa, an HIV diagnosis was likely to be fatal. The President’s plan received bi-partisan support and has since become the biggest financial commitment made by any country towards the control of a single disease.

The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief is the organisation that has most generously donated to mothers2mothers. Having supported mothers2mothers for 14 years, the large donations have allowed the mothers2mothers programme to grow in impact, scale and scope in each of the eight sub-Saharan African nations. Mothers2mothers is now able to provide services at each stage of the HIV life cycle, from babies and children to adolescents and parents. The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief has also given technical assistance in South Africa and Kenya with the aim of getting the Mentor Mother Model to become part of the national policy of the country.

The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief aims to continue its commitment to its partner organisations. Please refer to the embedded infographic for further information. With funding and support from the PEPFAR, mother2mothers wishes to see a HIV-free generation and many more success stories similar to that told by Babalwa and Anathi.