To End a Plague: Reflections on America’s Fight to Defeat AIDS in Africa

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In this episode, CSIS Senior Associate Jeffrey L. Sturchio speaks with author Emily Bass about her new book, To End a Plague, which chronicles the transnational activism, legislative deal-making, and unprecedented political leadership that led to President George W. Bush’s 2003 announcement of the U. S. President’s Emergency Program for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). With more than $85 billion invested, 18.2 million men, women, and children treated with antiretroviral therapy, and more than 50 million people provided HIV prevention services in recent years, it is also the largest commitment in history by any nation to address a single disease.  In this conversation, Bass reflects on what drew her to this complex and compelling story, on the key factors in PEPFAR’s origins and evolution, on the reasons for the program’s improbable and long-standing bipartisan support, and on the crucial contributions of people living with HIV/AIDS and their allies and advocates in shaping the program’s priorities. She also comments on the role of the private sector and on lessons to be learned from PEPFAR in the present moment, when the world continues to grapple with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Jeffrey Sturchio
Senior Associate (Non-resident), Global Health Policy Center