With World AIDS Day upon us, I sat down with Ambassador-At-Large Dr. Deborah Birx who oversees our federal government’s AIDS relief efforts. Here’s what she told me about her very important work:
BIRX: Not only are we saving 14.6 million men, women, and children around the globe, people who really needed the support and everyday turned to American and think are deeply grateful for the generosity of the American people. They understand that this money comes from taxpayers, but in addition, 2.4 million babies born without HIV so they can live a vibrant and free life, free of the virus.
BORIS: So, World AIDS Day is upon us. What does that mean for your organization, the government of the United States, overall and the world beyond that?
BIRX: So, World AIDS Day until 1996 was really a day of reflection of what we had lost. Now World AIDS Day is a reflection because of the American people and our presidents, a reflection on what we have gained and what we have given to others, and so it's great that world aids day come right before the holidays and right between Thanksgiving and Christmas because to me it represents Thanksgiving and celebration of families and families are alive today with mothers and fathers because of PEPFAR.
BORIS: So, would it be fair to say that in large part, because of PEPFAR world AIDS Day went from being a very somber day to now maybe more day of hope.
BIRX: A day of hope, a day I'm translation of what was a death and darkness on many places around the globe, to a time of thriving and the bright sunshine of hope and really a full life ahead.
Here’s the bottom line: It is vital to recognize, be thankful for and, support the important work that PEPFAR is doing to solve the worldwide HIV/AIDS epidemic.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Boris Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.