Two weeks ago, the New York Times revealed a series of questions that President Donald Trump’s team sent to the Department of State regarding United States and African relations. What scared me most was this question: “Is PEPFAR worth the massive investment when there are so many security concerns in Africa? Is PEPFAR becoming a massive, international entitlement program?”
PEPFAR, or the President Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief started by President George W. Bush, makes HIV/AIDS treatment available to those who need it and invests in sexual health education. Over the last 14 years, the United States has committed over $70 billion to end HIV/AIDS. While the program has been far from perfect — for instance, Bush promoted “abstinence” agenda, thereby endangering the lives of many who want to have healthy and safe sex — its achievements are important and far-reaching.