HIV and the Church

Progress is being made to increase access to treatment to one of the most vulnerable groups – children living with HIV – through the Accelerating Children’s HIV/AIDS Treatment Initiative (ACT), a joint program of PEPFAR and the Children’s Investment Foundation Fund (CIFF). Learn about the program below or visit the PEPFAR website for more information.


What is ACT?

The Accelerating Children’s HIV/AIDS Treatment Initiative (ACT) is a two-year effort to double the number of children receiving life-saving antiretroviral treatment (ART) in sub-Saharan Africa. The $200 million initiative will enable 300,000 more children living with HIV to receive ART and is funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF).


Where will ACT be implemented?

Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe have been selected to participate in ACT. PEPFAR and CIFF worked together to select the participating countries, which are among  those with the lowest access to pediatric treatment, and the greatest disparity in treatment coverage for children compared to adults living with HIV/AIDS.


Why is ACT needed?

ACT will bring much-needed treatment to infants, children, and adolescents living with HIV at this critical time. Evidence shows that without ART, 50 percent of children living with HIV/AIDS will die before their second birthday and 80 percent will die before their fifth birthday. Between 2005 and 2012, total AIDS-related deaths decreased globally; however, among adolescents aged 10–19 years, AIDS related deaths increased. ACT will help address this disparity. Healthy children will grow economies, create jobs, and contribute to their families and communities for decades to come.



Why ACT now?

Since its inception, PEPFAR has increased access to treatment for children living with HIV/AIDS. At the end of 2013, PEPFAR supported more than half of the total number of children receiving HIV treatment worldwide. Despite these efforts, pediatric and adolescent ART coverage remains far too low and lags significantly behind adult ART coverage in nearly all PEPFAR-supported countries. While there has been considerable progress over the past several years to increase access to prevention of mother-to-child transmission interventions and virtually eliminate new pediatric infections, 240,000 children became newly infected with HIV globally in 2013. 

ACT complements existing programs targeting children living with HIV/AIDS and will contribute to the goals set by other U.S.-supported HIV/AIDS and child health efforts, including The Global Plan Towards the Elimination of New HIV Infections Among Children by 2015 and Keeping their Mothers Alive and Acting on the Call: Ending Preventable Child and Maternal Deaths. Additional partners from all sectors are encouraged to join ACT and expand its impact. By working together, we can change the future for millions of children.


For more information on how you or your church can make a difference for children living with HIV, please email

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