PEPFAR’s Role in Protecting and Leveraging HIV Services in the COVID-19 Response in Africa

Carol W. Holtzman, Catherine Godfrey, Lawal Ismail, Elliot Raizes, Julie A. Ake, Fana Tefera, Salome Okutoyi, George K. Siberry*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: We describe the impact of COVID-19 on PEPFAR programs in Africa and how PEPFAR adapted and leveraged its interventions to the changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recent Findings: To mitigate the potential impact of COVID-19 on the HIV response and protect the gains, continuity of treatment was the guiding principle regarding the provision of services in PEPFAR-supported countries. As the COVID-19 pandemic matured, PEPFAR’s approach evolved from a strictly “protect and salvage” approach to a “restore and accelerate” approach that embraced innovative adaptations in service and “person-centered” care. Summary: The impact of service delivery interruptions caused by COVID-19 on progress towards HIV epidemic control in PEPFAR-supported African countries remains undetermined. With COVID vaccine coverage many months away and more transmissible variants being reported, Africa may experience more pandemic surges. HIV programs will depend on nimble and innovative adaptations in prevention and treatment services in order to advance epidemic control objectives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-36
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent HIV/AIDS Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Africa
  • COVID-19
  • Continuity of services
  • HIV
  • Program adaptation


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