2020

Operational Guidance for National Roll-Out of Family HIV Testing in West and Central Africa

HIV testing and treatment remains low among children in West and Central Africa. Various barriers prevent the scale-up of services and improved coverage for children, including limited coverage of early infant diagnostic capacity, limited decentralization of pediatric treatment including task-shifting/sharing from paediatricians to nurses and community actors, as well as prevalent HIV stigma at individual, family and community levels. Family-based HIV index testing has been identified as a game changer that can deliver quick gains for the paediatric HIV response in both high- and low prevalence settings. By using an individual family member living with HIV as an entry point to reaching the entire family unit, several underlying factors can be addressed, which limit access to HIV testing services especially for children.

This operational guidance is meant for use by national programme managers, implementers, advocates and health care providers in collaboration with partners, supported by national, regional and global experts. The guidance draws off the experience in family testing from within and outside West and Central Africa. It combines recommendations from the Dakar Expert consultation, which took place in June 2018, as well as lessons learned from the pilot of the Family Testing Operational Guidance in Liberia in June 2018. It is a living document that will be enriched as evidence on family Testing in the region grows. The use of this guidance will be complemented by a toolkit and a community of practice. It is a regional document drafted for the countries in West and Central Africa to guide country teams to design country-contextualized family HIV testing roll-out.

Integrating peer support into service delivery: A good practice guide

This guide developed by Pediatric-Adolescent Treatment Africa (PATA) draws on lessons learned on integrating peer support strategies across several programmes in sub-Saharan Africa. It has been designed as an informative resource for the integration of peer support into HIV models of care for adolescents and young people in facility- and community-based settings. This toolkit is aimed primarily at health providers, specifically health facility managers and organizations engagement peer support programmes to strengthen health care.

International Technical and Programmatic Guidance on Out-of-School Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE)

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), with collaborating partners from the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Secretariat of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), have developed this guidance to build upon and complement the UN International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education (ITGSE). It offers more in-depth programmatic guidance on how to develop CSE programmes that are appropriate and safe for different groups of children and young people, especially those who are unlikely to be addressed in CSE programmes for children and young people generally.

Available in English and Spanish.

Nurturing care for children affected by HIV

In the early years, we lay down critical elements for health, well-being and productivity, which last throughout childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Failure to meet a child’s needs during this critical period limits the child’s ability to achieve their full developmental potential and threatens the future of human capital and society in general. This is particularly so for children affected by HIV who experience several interrelated factors that may hinder the achievement of a child’s full developmental potential.

This brief from UNICEF and WHO describes the specific nurturing care components for children affected by HIV as well as facility-level and community-level actions for early childhood development.

HIV Pediatrics 2020 Workshop Report

The International Workshop on HIV & Pediatrics 2020 took place virtually on 16-17 November. It provided a global update on paediatric HIV and explored pertinent issues through dedicated plenary and oral abstract sessions on prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, paediatric treatment and care, and adolescents and HIV. It also included sessions on COVID-19 in children.

UNICEF and Virology Education have developed a workshop report that summarises highlights and learnings from each session.

Presentations and webcasts (provided speaker's consent) are also publicly available and can be accessed here.

2020 World AIDS Day Report

Reimagining a resilient HIV response for children, adolescents and pregnant women living with HIV

UNICEF's 2020 World AIDS Day report presents key global data and an overview of the HIV epidemic among children and adolescents, focusing on UNICEF's contribution to HIV prevention, treatment and care services in the global HIV response. The report also discusses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on UNICEF's results and achievements. Finally, the report concludes with a proposed way forward that highlights fighting stigma, which has been a persistent and debilitating challenge to people living with and vulnerable to HIV over the past four decades.

Programming for Adolescents and Young People in Eastern and Southern Africa: UNICEF-GFATM partnership

In partnership with the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, UNICEF has supported the governments of Botswana and Lesotho to implement targeted programmes for adolescent girls and young women. In Lesotho, a national multi-sectoral referral framework is strengthening community-facility linkages and is catalyzing increased access to HIV/SRH services by guiding adolescent and young people to appropriate services and care. In Botswana, a radio drama series together with peer education components is tackling tough issues adolescents are facing in love, life and relationships. Documentation of both experiences are available for download.

UNICEF's Approach to Mental Health during COVID-19 in East Asia and the Pacific

Mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) is a priority area for the UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office (EAPRO). As a cross cutting issue for health/HIV, child protection, early childhood development and education, adolescent development and participation, gender, and disability, an emphasis has been placed on systems strengthening and a longer-term investment in MHPSS to ensure availability, quality and access to a multi-tiered system to meet the needs of children and adolescents, as well as parents and caregivers. This brief presents a snapshot of the multisectoral and adaptive approaches of UNICEF across East Asia and the Pacific to MHPSS during the COVID-19 response, that were undertaken in collaboration with government, civil society, development partners and young people’s networks.

Addressing the needs of adolescent and young mothers affected by HIV in Eastern and Southern Africa

Adolescent and young mothers are a priority population for UNICEF in Eastern and Southern Africa, including those who are affected by HIV. In this region, one in four women aged 20-24 years gives birth before the age of 18 years and 30 per cent of all new HIV infections occur among adolescent girls and young women aged 15-24 years. Studies increasingly show poorer maternal, child and HIV outcomes for this age group as compared to older women. Together with governments and partners, UNICEF has been working to promote differentiated, evidence-based approaches to meet the complex needs of adolescent and young mothers in several countries across the region. This newly released report describes these efforts in nine countries, highlighting the results achieved and the learning. Key insights include the importance of responsive service delivery and social support as well as working across sectors. Also offered are ways in which policy makers, researchers, programme managers and implementers can strengthen HIV and health services for adolescent and young mothers and their children.