The United States on Monday pledged $410 million towards ending the AIDS epidemic in South Africa, the country hardest hit.
South Africa has the world’s largest population of people living with HIV, at 6.8 million, and the funds will help expand its antiretroviral programme, which provides treatment to more than 3 million patients.
South Africa has the largest antiretroviral treatment programme globally and these efforts have been largely financed from its own domestic resources. The country now invests more than $1 billion annually to run its HIV and AIDS programmes
The country experienced 180,000 AIDS-related deaths in 2015, according to the United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Its prevalence rate of HIV among adults, at 19 percent, is one of the highest in the world.
The funds were donated through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which also supports projects in South Africa to encourage male circumcision and attempts to reduce new HIV infections in girls and young women.