The Future of the U.S.–South Africa HIV/AIDS Partnership

Trip Report of the CSIS Delegation to South Africa, January 2013

South Africa has the highest burden of HIV/AIDS in the world, with 5.6 million people living with the virus and over 400,000 newly infected annually. Since 2004, the U.S. government has committed more than $4 billion to combating HIV/AIDS in South Africa—the largest U.S. investment in HIV/AIDS worldwide. Continued progress in controlling HIV/AIDS in South Africa, the epicenter of the pandemic, is pivotal to sustained progress against the disease worldwide.

Over the past three years, a joint U.S.–South Africa effort has been underway to transition responsibility for HIV/AIDS programming and policies to the South African government. The South African and U.S. governments negotiated a Partnership Framework outlining the broad terms of this transition; the agreement was signed in October 2010 by then-Secretary of State Clinton and her South African counterpart Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. Through this process, the United States has begun to move from a lead role in the provision of lifesaving services to an approach focused increasingly on technical support. The fast-evolving partnership is among the most important dimensions of the United States’ bilateral relationship with South Africa. A successful U.S.–South Africa transition will bolster confidence in the U.S. Congress in U.S. funding for HIV/AIDS, as well as inform U.S. approaches during similar transitions with other partner governments in the future.

Sally Canfield, Christy Gleason, Alisha Kramer, Anne Oswalt, Heidi Ross, Tom Walsh

Sharon Stash

Todd Summers