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In the field of HIV/AIDS, success stories are beginning to emerge, demonstrating that efforts to change risk behaviors can be successful, that HIV transmission can be reduced, and that care and support can be effectively delivered. In many countries, resources are no longer the primary limiting factor in turning the tide of the epidemic.

 HIV legal services in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Under the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, the United States has pledged $15 billion over five years to help developing nations treat 2 million persons with antiretroviral drugs, prevent 7 million new infections, and care for 10 million infected and affected persons including orphans and other vulnerable children. Notably, major donor nations have agreed to collaborate with developing nations to support one coordinating body, one strategic plan, and one set of indicators for monitoring progress toward achieving the goals in the strategic plan for each country.

These worthwhile but ambitious goals can be achieved only if a favorable policy environment exists in the countries in which the services and interventions will be provided. The USAID | Health Policy Initiative facilitates policy dialogue and implementation at the country level to address a range of HIV issues. Policymakers in developing countries must be committed to change, good policies must be adopted, specific plans must be made to implement these policies, resources must be allocated, and many sectors need to work together to make the goals become reality.

Photo: A client, the lawyer, and a PLHA representative at the Health Policy Initiative funded legal clinic for PLHAs in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Credit: Britt Herstad, USAID | Health Policy Initiative TO1