Name That AIDS Program: PEPFAR II Naming Contest

January 31, 2008
The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) - a 5-year, $15 billion initiative to support the prevention, treatment, and care of HIV/AIDS in some of the worst-affected countries - expires at the end of 2008, and Congress is currently working on legislation to extend the program for another 5 years. President Bush has called for $30 billion for the next phase of the program, with many key congressional leaders and presidential candidates pushing for $50 billion. With many important issues to be resolved about the next phase of PEPFAR, one issue that is not often discussed is the program's name. CGD's HIV/AIDS Monitor invites you to offer your choice for the naming of PEPFAR II. Why? Much has changed since the U.S. Leadership Act established PEPFAR in 2003. At the time, HIV was spreading fast, donor money for HIV/AIDS was scarce, and an HIV diagnosis was a virtual death sentence in the developing world. Since then, due to a significant increase in international funding led by PEPFAR and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, HIV/AIDS programs have been greatly expanded in the most affected countries, and hundreds of thousands now have access to life-saving ARV drugs. These developments require an updated strategy and a name for the U.S. AIDS program that reflects it. For one, changes in the global AIDS landscape require policymakers to think more seriously about how PEPFAR can transform itself from an "emergency" plan , where long-term planning can sometimes take a backseat to the need to roll-out programs as quickly as possible, to a more sustainable strategy based on building the capacity of host countries to coordinate and implement their own AIDS responses. A program with "emergency" in the title does not accurately reflect the successes of the last 5 years or the new challenges we face in sustaining and building on this success in the future. The name of PEPFAR's next phase should also reflect the fact that it is a program with widespread, bipartisan support. While much credit goes to President Bush for mobilizing U.S funding for PEPFAR I, a "President's" program for PEPFAR II runs the risk of being associated with President Bush only, potentially reducing support from Democratic congressional leaders and/or the next president. Changing PEPFAR's name to reflect its wide base of support would make PEPFAR more than just a Bush program and encourage a sense of ownership and shared responsibility on the part of the U.S. government to continue its commitment to global AIDS programs. As our colleague Mead Over has emphasized, this has implications for the U.S. pledge to keep patients on ARV treatment - what he has termed the "AIDS entitlement." (See Mead's blogs on this subject here and here). A Call for Ideas As reauthorization moves forward, we invite you to offer your own ideas for what the next phase of PEPFAR should be called. What name would capture the need to build a sustainable program over the next 5 years? What name would reflect the U.S.' long-term commitment to battling the global HIV/AIDS pandemic? What name would acknowledge the connection of HIV/AIDS programs to the broader global health and development agendas? The choice is yours. Send us your ideas by posting a comment on this blog with your choice (or choices) for naming PEPFAR II. Your responses will be reviewed by a panel of experts at CGD to narrow the choice down to a few finalists. Then, look out for our online voting tool to participate in the final selection of the winner! The winning name will be profiled prominently on our Global Health Blog and the winner acknowledged at a future HIV/AIDS Monitor event. 2/15/08 UPDATE: Nominations are now closed. View the final selections and VOTE!


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.