By global consensus, condoms remain essential to HIV prevention and epidemic control. Nations have signed on to the multi-agency 20 x 20 Initiative, which calls for distributing 20 billion condoms by the year 2020. And there’s a problem with that.
It turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks. The old dog, in this case, is HIV self-testing, a technology first introduced in 2012 and a focus of international public health initiatives ever since. The new trick consists of innovative ways to make HIV self-testing available and attractive to previously hard-to-reach populations.
We have come a long way in our response to the HIV epidemic since its beginning. In the last seven years, new HIV infection rates have dropped almost 30 percent worldwide. During that time, the number of people with access to life-saving antiretroviral therapy has increased almost threefold. But it’s still not enough.
AIDSFree has officially launched its newest web resource: the Viral Load (VL) and Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) Knowledge Base. Both VL testing and EID are essential to achieving 90-90-90 goals at country and global levels. The new resource, developed in consultation with clinicians and experts in logistics and lab management at USAID, serves as a one-stop resource for information on these critical interventions
When we first started this work (in Ethiopia) about seven years ago, when customers came to a warehouse in search of their medicines, the pharmacist had to run down to the warehouse to check if they had an item (it took too long to find the stock card). Now they can access the data the same way as my Walgreens pharmacist can. And they can look to see if the stock is available at any of the other warehouses (even if the nearest location might be a day away).
Early infant diagnosis (EID) is a complex cascade whose every step must be completed successfully. Complexity begins at the facility itself. EID is not yet a routine service; exposed infants tend to be identified either when they come for other services or when mothers bring them for testing.
Good health care waste management means increased health worker safety, better-quality patient care, reduced environmental degradation, lower costs, and opportunities for profit. States still struggle to establish systems for managing waste—but opportunities exist.
Helen Cornman, Deputy Director of the AIDSFree project, reports from the General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS which took place June 8-10, 2016 in New York.
One in three women worldwide has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused at least once in her lifetime. And women who have experienced gender-based violence (GBV) can face up to three times greater risk for HIV compared to those who have not, according to UNAIDS. GBV is common, affecting both women and men. Children and key populations are also at high risk, and often don’t have access to the resources they need.
Can the private sector scale up PMTCT services? AIDSFree is looking at how to expand PMTCT service delivery and alleviate challenges by engaging the private sector, including civil society organizations (CSOs).