Latest News

Celebrating a Milestone: 15 years of U.S. leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS

17 May 2018


By Frank Beadle de Palomo, President and Chief Executive Officer,
mothers2mothers

 

In early 2000 when the HIV/AIDS pandemic was at its height, I remember I visited Soweto, a township outside of Johannesburg, South Africa, and spoke to a young pregnant woman who had just tested HIV-positive. Convinced she was going to die, her primary concern was who would take care of her unborn child and whether the child, too, would become infected. Her husband was no longer alive, her mother had died of tuberculosis, and her father had also passed away. What should have been one the happiest moments of her life, anticipating the arrival of the new life inside her, was filled with pure terror.

The difference between those dark days and today feels like centuries apart. Back in the early 2000s—while the U.S. had achieved epidemic control and mother-to-child transmission of HIV was almost entirely eliminated—an HIV diagnosis was a death sentence across much of Africa. Few people had access to lifesaving HIV treatment, and approximately 1,500 babies were infected with HIV each day globally, most of them in sub-Saharan Africa. People were filled with fear, stigma was rampant, and it felt as if there was no hope.

Today, we are closer than ever to ending AIDS and creating a generation free from HIV, thanks in large part to the remarkable efforts of the U.S. government through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Enacted 15-years ago this month with bi-partisan support under the leadership of President George W. Bush, PEPFAR has seen the U.S. government invest nearly $75 billion in the global HIV/AIDS response, the largest commitment made by any nation to address a single disease, ultimately saving more than 13 million lives and enabling more than two million babies to be born HIV-free.

In Africa, PEPFAR has been a game changer. As many as 13 high-HIV burden countries are poised to achieve epidemic control by 2020, thanks in large part to PEPFAR support. The number of babies infected with HIV each day has dropped to 200 in sub-Saharan Africa. Furthermore, the latest PEPFAR data show a 25-40 percent decline or greater in new HIV diagnoses among adolescent girls and young women in the majority of the highest-HIV burden countries implementing PEPFAR’s DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe) public-private partnership.

PEPFAR has also been a game changer for m2m as our largest, and one of our longest standing, funders. Starting with our first sub award in 2004/05 and our first direct grant in 2006, PEPFAR’s support has played a critical role in deepening our programme’s scale, scope and impact across eight African countries. That support helped m2m reach almost 2 million clients last year alone, together with our partners, and employ 1,600 HIV-positive women as Mentor Mothers. Furthermore, m2m has virtually eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV for the last three years among our enrolled clients.

As the nature of the epidemic is evolving, m2m’s model is too, and so is PEPFAR’s support. Now working with its many partners—which range from government, the private sector, philanthropic organisations, to civil society—PEPFAR is addressing HIV across the life cycle—from babies and children to adolescents and families—so that we can control the epidemic for all populations. This aligns closely with m2m’s own family-centric approach. Thanks to PEPFAR funding, m2m provides early childhood development services to help parents and caregivers nurture and stimulate their child’s development so they thrive, not just survive. We also work with adolescents to promote HIV counseling and testing, as well as critically needed sexual and reproductive health education, to help them make healthy choices. And we support HIV-positive mothers through pregnancy and breastfeeding, and until their children have their final 18-24 month HIV test and are no longer at risk of infection.

PEPFAR has also been supportive of our increasing investment in technical assistance, which has helped us to scale our model and impact beyond what we would have been able to do alone. PEPFAR supported us to provide technical assistance to the Kenyan and South African governments, which ultimately saw our Mentor Mother Model implemented as national policy in both countries. For instance, as of the end of last year, the Kenyan government employed 655 Mentor Mothers at almost 400 sites, bringing benefits to all Kenyans.

Today, I love going into a site and having a nurse or the head of the clinic say, “You need to know that it’s been three years since we have had a baby born in this clinic with HIV because of the peer education and support provided by mothers2mothers.”

While this is remarkable progress, now is not the time to take our foot off the pedal. We must maintain momentum to finish the job, achieve the 90-90-90 targets by 2020, and deliver on the Global Goal to end AIDS, for good, by 2030. There is still a lot of hard work to do – across all stages of the lifecycle: 200 babies are still infected with HIV each day in Eastern and Southern Africa, often during breastfeeding; only 43 per cent of HIV-exposed infants were tested within the recommended first two months of life; nearly 7,000 adolescent girls young women (AGYW) (15-24) are infected with HIV each week, the majority in sub-Saharan Africa.

Through the critical leadership of the U.S. government and PEPFAR, together with a continued global commitment, I am confident that we will end AIDS in our lifetime. And that no woman, like the pregnant woman I met in Soweto so many years ago, will have to fear for her and her child’s future because of HIV/AIDS. Instead, we will be able to tell how we took that darkness and despair and transformed it into health and hope so that all women and families can look forward to a thriving future.

Archive

21 December 2018

Top Ten Reasons to Celebrate 2018!

m2m President and CEO Frank Beadle de Palomo reflects on some of our biggest milestones in 2018. With 2019 around...

13 December 2018

World AIDS Day celebrations go global.

World AIDS Day (1st December) is always an important day for us at mothers2mothers (m2m) as the world comes together...

7 December 2018

G20 Commits to Early Childhood Development

By Fiona Burtt, Senior Technical Advisor, ECD/OVC at mothers2mothers 2018 has been a landmark year for early childhood development (ECD)....

1 December 2018

Make the Impossible Possible

On World AIDS Day, m2m President and CEO Frank Beadle de Palomo reflects on the state of the HIV/AIDS epidemic...

29 November 2018

A Festive Event You Can’t Miss!

For the second year running, mothers2mothers (m2m) will be hosting a festive carol concert in London at St Paul’s, Knightsbridge on Monday 3rd December 2018....

19 November 2018

Making an Impact on the East Coast

(L-R) Emma France, Frank Beadle de Palomo, Irene Nkosi, Annie Lennox, and Dr. Mitch Besser attend event hosted by Marigay...

16 November 2018

m2m featured in latest British Airways video!

Today, we are incredibly excited to reveal that mothers2mothers is featured in British Airways’ (BA) latest seatback video for their...

9 November 2018

Cycling our way to zero transmission of HIV!

4 days, over 5,000km, 3 site visits, 1 country…Cycle2Zero 2018.  From 20th – 24th October, 30 cyclists from around the...

7 November 2018

m2m Launches in the Big Apple 

Today, we are delighted to announce that mothers2mothers (m2m) has opened our first office in New York City. It is our...

19 October 2018

Running for change – The Royal Parks Half Marathon

Keen runner and m2m supporter, Ashleigh Jackman. Ashleigh Jackman, 38, Events, Roadshow and Hospitality, Relationship Manager within Financial Services and Vice...

17 October 2018

Putting the spotlight on girls – International Day of the Girl 2018

On 11th October, mothers2mothers UK (m2m UK) celebrated the 7th International Day of the Girl Child, aimed at highlighting the...

10 October 2018

My message to teenage girls – Anathi Mbono, South Africa

Spokeswoman Babalwa Mbono with her daughter Anathi Mbono in Washington D.C. – May 2018 Age: 15 Location: Pretoria, South Africa...

9 October 2018

m2m Co-founder Honoured as a Difference Maker

Robin Smalley, mothers2mothers’ (m2m) Co-founder and Chief Connector, has been named one of the 100 TIAA Difference Makers. TIAA—a leading...

5 October 2018

The Mother of All Roadshows — m2m’s Impact Roadshow

 Two continents, ten events, over 500 audience members, one goal. mothers2mothers (m2m) has just wrapped up a whirlwind two-week which...

3 October 2018

Taking Local Action to Reach Global Goals

By Babalwa Mbono, one of m2m’s early clients and Mentor Mothers, now an m2m spokeswoman and trainer. m2m Spokeswoman Babalwa...

21 September 2018

mothers2mothers at the heart of groundbreaking “Social Impact Bond”

Raising resources. Measuring impact. Fostering collaboration between government, business and civil society.These are three of the greatest challenges to sustainable...

5 September 2018

m2m Selected as Finalist for The 2018 Drucker Prize

The Drucker Institute announced the top ten finalists for its prestigious Drucker Prize last week, and mothers2mothers (m2m) is proud...

16 August 2018

Harnessing pedal power in solidarity with Mentor Mothers – RideLondon 2018

On Sunday 29th July, a team of mothers2mothers (m2m) cyclists took to the roads for RideLondon – Surrey 100. Now...

26 July 2018

mothers2mothers at AIDS Conference 2018

This week, the international HIV/AIDS community came together in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, for the 22nd International AIDS Conference.  Team mothers2mothers...

22 July 2018

Our 2017 Annual Evaluation: Highlighting m2m’s Contribution Towards the UN’s Global Goals

mothers2mothers (m2m) is contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of ending AIDS, ensuring good health and wellbeing...

18 July 2018

Celebrating Nelson Mandela at 100

By Frank Beadle de Palomo, President and Chief Executive Officer, mothers2mothers   “I have discovered the secret that after climbing...

10 July 2018

m2m U.S. Announces Founder Dr. Mitch Besser as Interim Board Chair

mothers2mothers (m2m) U.S.* today announced that m2m Founder Dr. Mitch Besser has been appointed as its Interim Board Chair by...

5 July 2018

Why I support mothers2mothers – A personal account by Allison Mitchell

Allison Mitchell is the co-founder of Vild – House of Little (a luxury children’s clothing brand). She recently joined the...

27 June 2018

A Midsummer Soirée to remember

Last week, mothers2mothers (m2m) was delighted to host a Midsummer Soirée at One Belgravia in London. Long-standing and newer m2m...

16 June 2018

Leaving no Child Behind

By Fiona Burtt, Senior Technical Advisor, ECD/OVC at mothers2mothers  Today is the International Day of the African Child and this year’s...

31 May 2018

m2m welcomes UNICEF Executive Director to South Africa

UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta H Fore with mothers , Peer Mentors and staff from the Mothers2mother program at the Soshonguve...

17 May 2018

Celebrating a Milestone: 15 years of U.S. leadership in the fight against HIV/AIDS

By Frank Beadle de Palomo, President and Chief Executive Officer, mothers2mothers   In early 2000 when the HIV/AIDS pandemic was...

24 May 2018

m2m Goes to Washington to Celebrate 15 Years of PEPFAR

Babalwa and Anathi in front of the U.S. Capitol building. Last Thursday, mothers2mothers (m2m) headed to Washington, DC to celebrate...

16 May 2018

A Mother and Teenage Daughter Pay it Forward

Tomorrow, May 17, an event on Capitol Hill in Washington DC will celebrate 15 years of the U.S. President’s Emergency...

4 May 2018

m2m Featured in New International Campaign for LGT

Today, we’re proud to share that m2m is taking centre-stage in a new international marketing campaign for LGT Group Foundation,...

11 April 2018

mothers2mothers Joins Global Advocacy Initiative to Ask One Million Women & Girls Their Top Healthcare Priority

Today is The International Day for Maternal Health and Rights—a fitting day for the launch of a campaign that will...

23 March 2018

It is possible to survive HIV and Tuberculosis —but you need the right diagnosis

By Relebohile Leoatha, a Mentor Mother in Lesotho In 2006, at just 15 years old, I fell pregnant. My mother...

9 March 2018

m2m Celebrates International Women’s Day with Two Riveting Events in London

Coming hot on the heels of an unprecedented global movement for women’s rights, equality, and justice, there was a real...

8 March 2018

The Urban and Rural Activists Who Are Transforming Women’s Lives

This blog originally appeared on Huffington Post UK Written by Dr. Betty Mirembe, Country Director, m2m Uganda Last month, at...

8 March 2018

Meet our newest Patron, Rochelle Humes

To coincide with International Women’s Day, mothers2mothers (m2m) is delighted to unveil our newest patron – Rochelle Humes! A well-known...

22 February 2018

Launch of MAMA Stars Collection

Selfish Mother and mothers2mothers (m2m) have collaborated many times over the last few years but today felt particularly special as we celebrated the...

19 February 2018

m2m Embarks on $44.5m Partnership with USAID

mothers2mothers (m2m) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have today announced details of a five-year, $44.5M partnership...

16 February 2018

Introducing our new Patron: actress Samantha Bond

Today, we are delighted to announce that actress Samantha Bond has become m2m’s newest Patron! She joins Annie Lennox and...

8 February 2018

m2m joins OAFLA at African Union to kick-off #FreeToShine

Last week, mothers2mothers (m2m) had the privilege of joining in the buzz around the 29th Annual Summit of the African...

2 February 2018

m2m Announces Mozambique Launch

“The dream of ending mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Mozambique can become a reality, if we can collaborate to find...

26 January 2018

Launch of #PushCONNECTxm2m Coffee Mornings

m2m Global Development and Strategic Engagement Director Emma France with Emma Hart, Creative Director of PushPR To kickstart our new...

10 January 2018

Conrad N. Hilton Foundation Awards m2m $1.2 Million to Launch Early Childhood Development (ECD) Services in Malawi

mothers2mothers (m2m) is delighted to join forces with the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation (Hilton Foundation), a global leader in the...