DEVEX | A decade and a half ago, we came together to bridge the political divide and address one of history’s worst public health crises. In 2002, 3.1 million people worldwide died of AIDS-related causes and 11 million children in sub-Saharan Africa had lost one or more parents to the disease. The AIDS epidemic was only getting worse; immediate action was necessary. As a progressive, Democratic congresswoman from the San Francisco Bay Area and a Republican senator from Tennessee, we were an odd pairing to tackle this emergency. But we knew that if we could find common ground, countless lives would be saved. So together, along with President George W. Bush and HIV/AIDS champions on both sides of the aisle, we created the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, the largest legislative response to a single disease in history.
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