Secure the Future

Partnership objectives

  1. Prevent transmission of HIV/AIDS, related illnesses and other sexually transmitted diseases.
  2. Reduce the impact of HIV/AIDS on individuals by empowering infected and affected women and children. 
  3. Expand access to antiretroviral treatment by informing public health policy. 
  4. Reduce mortality and improve overall health for patients with HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.
  5. Address the impact of HIV/AIDS on mental health.
  6. Reduce the impact of cervical cancer for at-risk women.


Over the past 12 years, Secure the Future has funded more than 240 projects in 20 African countries. Over the past 12 years, Secure the Future has funded more than 240 projects in 20 African countries. Copyright BMS/ Secure the Future

What are the health needs and challenges?

About 75% of the world’s HIV/AIDS cases are in southern Africa. Before Secure the Future® was started in 1999, 14.8 million people in sub-Saharan Africa had died since the 1980s due to HIV/AIDS – more than the combined populations of New York City and Los Angeles. More than 20% of those who died were children.

While sub-Saharan Africa has only one-tenth of the world’s population, it accounted for almost 80% of all HIV/AIDS deaths worldwide before 1999 and about 70% of people living with HIV/AIDS. Life expectancy and years of "healthy life" were in decline and there were extraordinary numbers of orphans, leading to economic havoc and civil disorder.

Description of partnership activities and how they address needs and challenges

Since 1999, BMS has invested more than USD 160 million to develop and replicate innovative and sustainable solutions for vulnerable populations, including women and children, infected and affected by HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. The project involves NGO and IGO partners in Africa.

 This work has focused on three phases: 

  • Building the healthcare infrastructure (completed).
  • Grant-making to build the capacity of healthcare providers and communities (completed).
  • Transfer skills and know-how to additional countries to additional countries in sub-Saharan Africa (ongoing).

Secure The Future® is a comprehensive initiative to fight HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, sponsored by BMS and the BMS Foundation.

The program combines medical treatment and care with research, social support and training for healthcare professionals with new facilities and infrastructure investments in remote areas of sub-Saharan Africa where resources are extremely limited.

Over the past 12 years, the initiative has reached women, children, their families and communities in Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Senegal, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Program support is executed by an experienced and expert pool of faculty members who have played a critical role in supporting NGOs and CBOs to provide essential services in the Community Based Treatment Support and NGO Training Institute Programs. The aim of the faculty is to develop and strengthen organizational and technical capacity and leverage and harness the potential of civil society in improve health outcomes of health programs.

Lessons learned

  • Since its founding in 1999, Secure The Future® has evolved and remained agile over the years in order to play as relevant a role as possible in the global response to HIV/AIDS. 
  • From 1999 to 2002, the program focused on broad-based grant-making to support medical research and community outreach and education. 
  • From 2003 to 2007, focused investments were made in community based HIV/AIDS care and treatment support, NGO training, and pediatric AIDS. 
  • Since 2008, Secure The Future® has been in its third phase as a technical assistance and skills transfer program. This phase capitalizes on Secure The Future's past funding, program management experience and expertise, and track record as a committed private-public partnership program. 
  • The aim is to replicate Secure the Future's lessons, experiences and successful models, and address a strategic challenge of operational multisectoral collaborations in HIV, mental health, TB and cervical cancer by harnessing community resources and capacity.

Summary of impact and forward looking information

Since 1999, more than 300,000 mothers and children through the BMS Children’s Clinical Centers of Excellence or outreach sites staffed by the Pediatric AIDS Corps in partnership with Baylor College of Medicine.

Over the past 15years, Secure the Future® has funded more than 240 projects in 22 African countries, with special emphasis on community treatment support programs, care for children and building health care infrastructure. It is the first and still largest corporate philanthropic commitment to fighting the disease on the continent.

Working with the Baylor International Pediatrics AIDS Initiative at the Baylor College of Medicine and with governments in sub-Saharan Africa, the Foundation helped establish five Children’s Clinical Centers of Excellence in Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Uganda and Tanzania, a network of eight satellite clinics and a Pediatric AIDS Corps of pediatricians and specialists. More than 275,000 children are receiving care through this network.

The Secure the Future® Skills Transfer and Technical Assistance Program (TAP) faculty of 50 experts from across Africa includes former grant recipients and partners who have excellent community engagement and program management skills. Uniquely, TAP represents a philanthropic program that has grown in impact, even with reduced financial support, by focusing on providing South-South (Africa to Africa) skills and knowledge transfer across Africa using human resources and community-based solutions.

More information on the Bristol Mayers Squibb program achievement are available here.


Phangisile Mtshali on Secure the Future

Partnership information

Company(ies) Bristol-Myers Squibb

Partner(s) Baylor College of Medicine, Cabrini Ministries, Christian Care Prisons (Ghana), Comfort the Children (Kenya), Disability & AIDS Trust (DHAT), IDM Lesotho, IDM Swaziland, Kenya AIDS Consortium, Luthando Clinic (South Africa), National Council of NGOs, Democratic Republic of the Congo, New Dawn of Hope, Zimbabwe, SAF AIDS Zimbabwe, Save the Children, St. Paul’s University, Kenya, Super Buddies Program, Swaziland, Touch Foundation, World Health Organization (WHO)

Type of Partner(s) Academia / Hospitals, IGOs, NGOs

Therapeutic Focus Infectious Diseases

Disease(s) HIV/AIDS

Program Type(s) Health System Infrastructure - Development of Physical Infrastructure, Health System Infrastructure - Training

Targeted Population(s) Children, Elderly, Mothers, Patients in needs of treatment, People with low income, Women, Youth

Region(s) Sub-Saharan Africa

Number of Countries 22

Country(ies) Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Senegal, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Start Date 1999

More information Secure the Future

Anticipated completion date Ongoing