Foreign Relations & International Law

The Lawfare Podcast: The PEPFAR Reauthorization Battle, with Emily Bass

Anna Hickey, Emily Bass, Jen Patja
Tuesday, August 22, 2023, 8:00 AM
Why may a bipartisan health initiative that has a track record of success in addressing HIV/AIDS in at-risk countries expire this fall? 

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In 2003, President Bush created the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, and in the twenty years since, the program has been credited with saving over 25 million lives and stabilizing health systems around the world. On Sept. 30, 2023, the program will expire if Congress doesn’t act, putting millions of people at risk of losing access to HIV/AIDS treatment.

Lawfare Associate Editor of Communications Anna Hickey sat down with Emily Bass, a writer and activist who has spent more than twenty years writing about and working on HIV/AIDS. In 2021, she wrote “To End a Plague,” a book on America's war on AIDS in Africa. They discussed how PEPFAR has changed over the past 2 decades, why it is at risk of expiring this fall, and what the expiration would mean for the millions of people who depend on it.

Anna Hickey is the associate editor for communications of Lawfare. She holds a B.A. in interdisciplinary studies: communications, legal studies, economics, and government with a minor in international studies from American University.
Emily Bass is a writer, activist, artist and historian who has has spent more than twenty years writing about and working on HIV/AIDS in America and East and Southern Africa.
Jen Patja is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.

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