Scale up work on children and HIV hugely supported in technical consultation

Scale up work on children and HIV hugely supported in technical consultation

40% of children on ART in 2017 were on adult formulations. 50% of the children on treatment are on NVP-based products despite huge resistance. These shocking facts were some of the emerging issues brought up at the recent technical consultation in Geneva  on strengthening Aidsfonds’ aim to scale up work on children and HIV.

Technical experts

Sabrina Erné of Aidsfonds had initiated the meeting and brought together senior technical experts from UNAIDS, WHO, UNITAID, MSF, World Council of Churches Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, EGPAF, IAS, DNDi, Caritas Internationalis, and representatives from the embassies of Mozambique and Zimbabwe. All people who focus on children and HIV working in Geneva. The meeting was organised with support from Equal International. Sabrina: “The shared passion in the room for the theme was almost a surprise to us. It was that good.”

Emerging issues

Emerging issues brought to the table were:

  • Children have been left behind, with half of children living with HIV globally still not on treatment. And reductions have been relatively flat since 2015.
  • 40%  of children on ART in 2017 were on adult formulations.
  • Current paediatric treatment options are not fit for purpose. They have contributed to low adherence and poor treatment outcomes for children living with HIV.
  • Child-friendly formulations covering the entire weight spectrum are often not available. This has led to growing rates of drug resistance, which presents a huge problem for the future.
  • 50% of the children on treatment are on NVP-based products despite huge resistance. These products should only be used in special circumstances for children. But this is reality.
  • The paediatric HIV response requires urgent acceleration. With evidence-based interventions at programmatic level.
  • The efforts should not be wasted by failing to address the final gaps in the HIV response for children. This requires greater commitment, collaboration, investment, and leadership. This is essential for reaching global targets by 2020 AND for an AIDS FREE generation by 2030.

 

“The shared passion in the room for the theme was almost a surprise to us. It was that good.” - Sabrina Erné

Amplifying community efforts

“We had a rich discussion and Aidsfonds’ interest to scale up work on children and HIV was very warmly received”, says Sabrina.  “All participants recognise the important role that Aidsfonds can play in strengthening the community-based response and amplifying community, national and global advocacy efforts. Especially in the light of new paediatric HIV WHO guidelines coming out soon. We have an opportunity to act now, work with communities and partners, to demand the optimal treatment for their children.”

Next steps

We will share the meeting report soon on our website. In July we will publish an analysis of the main barriers for access to paediatric HIV treatment for the specific countries where we work. Then we’ll hold a further meeting on the way forward.

 

 

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