USAID’s Regional HIV/AIDS Program (RHAP) works with PEPFAR teams across Sub-Saharan African countries to mitigate the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and improve health outcomes for Southern Africans.
Southern Africa remains the epicenter of the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. An estimated 12.7 million people in the region are HIV infected. RHAP serves a region with a high degree of population mobility, multiple languages, weak health infrastructure and low human capacity development.
According to UNAIDS in 2013, Swaziland had the highest HIV prevalence in the world at 27.4%, followed by Lesotho at 22.9% and Botswana at 21.9%. Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe have generalized epidemics with adult HIV prevalence of over 10 percent. Angola, an outlier, has a concentrated epidemic with adult prevalence of 2.4 percent. While the rate of new infections is declining in every country, and the number of people living with HIV who are on antiretroviral treatment has increased significantly since 2004. There are still enormous challenges before the goal of an AIDS-free generation can be reached.
Southern Africa also has some of the highest rates of tuberculosis (TB) incidence in the world, with nine countries recording more than 300 cases per 100,000 and TB/HIV co-infection rates exceeding 70 percent in countries such as Swaziland, Lesotho, and South Africa. To address the dual TB/HIV epidemics, USAID focuses on scaling up effective approaches to TB treatment as well as improving diagnostics.
Working through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, USAID focuses on HIV and AIDS treatment, prevention, health system strengthening, and improved capacity of regional organizations.
USAID's RHAP works in close partnership with regional institutions such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to support programs that:
- Respond to the needs of migrant and mobile populations in the region
- Develop regional health care policies and codes of conduct, such as those for HIV/TB in the mining sector that are adopted and implemented by the region's member states
- Through the Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Regional Exchange (SHARE), provides a virtual forum and repository for information sharing and collaboration focused on improving health outcomes related to HIV and AIDS across Southern Africa.
Last updated: April 21, 2016