Last month the Presidential Advisory Committee on
HIV&AIDS (PACHA) gathered in Washington D.C. to discuss the status of HIV
nationally and international. Elizabeth Styffe, Saddleback’s Director of the
HIV&AIDS and Orphan Care Initiatives, represents Saddleback Church and the
HIV&AIDS Initiative on the Council and is a member of PACHA’s Global
The Council heard updates from Deborah Birx, M.D.,
Ambassador-at-Large, who is the US Global AIDS Coordinator & Special
Representative for Global Health Diplomacy at the Department of State, who
noted that although great successes have been realized through the President’s
Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), such results could reverse without a
strategic deployment of resources at this critical moment.
Citing “alarming” rates of HIV in young women in sub-Saharan
Africa, Ambassador Birx argued that there is a pressing need to shift resources
to help young people identify their risk and take action. This is particularly
concerning as the high risk population of young people in sub-Saharan Africa is
segment of the population that continues to grow.
Ambassador Birx outlined a new
strategy for ending the AIDS epidemic globally, by focusing resources in the
hardest hit areas. Birx explained that the new strategy focuses on areas with
growing numbers of new infections, in an effort to stem the tide where the
pandemic is growing. The Global Fund and the World Health Organization have taken
a lead role. This includes identifying and treating young men and women with
HIV and educating them about prevention. In addition, more innovative funding
is needed to mobilize resources in countries that have them.
data, there is no other choice,” said Ambassador Birx, “We are all going to
have to make some hard choices if we are going to change the course of the
If you would like more information on how you and your
church can make an impact in the fight against HIV&AIDS locally or
globally, email us at AIDS@saddleback.com
or call 949-609-8555.