UNICEF at AIDS 2024

UNICEF's AIDS 2024 Roadmaps outline conference and pre-conference sessions related to vertical transmission, children, adolescents and HIV, which will take place in connection with the 25th International AIDS Conference in Munich, Germany, between 19-26 July, 2024. Access the full programme here.

In collaboration with WHO and UNAIDS, UNICEF is organizing the satellite session Connecting Data, Programmes, and Communities: The Global Alliance Roadmap to Ending AIDS in Children by 2030 on Monday 22 July, 11:30-13:00 CET. Please see the Save the Date for additional details. 

 

Global standards for quality health-care services for adolescents: Standards and criteria

Global initiatives are urging countries to prioritize quality as a way of reinforcing human rights-based approaches to health. Yet evidence from both high- and low-income countries shows that services for adolescents are highly fragmented, poorly coordinated and uneven in quality. Pockets of excellent practice exist, but, overall, services need significant improvement and should be brought into conformity with existing guidelines.

The WHO/UNAIDS global standards for quality health-care services for adolescents aim to assist policy-makers and health service planners to improve the quality of health-care services, so that adolescents find it easier to obtain the health services that they need to promote, protect, and improve their health and well-being, according to their needs. 

This publication presents global standards for quality health-care services for adolescents, as well as an implementation guide and monitoring tools.

The adolescent health indicators recommended by the Global Action for Measurement of Adolescent Health

This document is an interactive guide for the uniform collection, compilation, reporting, and use of adolescent health data.

Adolescence is a critical stage in life for physical, cognitive and emotional development, shaping future health and well-being. Comprehensive measurement of adolescent health is essential to prioritize health issues, guide interventions and track progress. However, global, regional and national adolescent health measurement has historically been inconsistent and incomplete.

The Global Action for Measurement of Adolescent health (GAMA) Advisory Group has been established by the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with United Nations partners to support efforts to focus adolescent health measurement on the most important issues and to improve alignment across different measurement initiatives.

The indicators are intended to guide policy and programming for adolescents, and to assist in identifying topics in which more detailed health assessments and additional programming are needed. The last chapter in this guidance document describes how this can be done, based on the approach suggested in the Accelerated Action for the Health of Adolescents (AA-HA!) guidance.

This document presents a list of 47 indicators recommended by GAMA for measurement of adolescent health, which are applicable to all adolescent population subgroups and span Well-being Outcomes. 

Technical Brief on Paediatric HIV Case-Finding: Beyond Infant Testing

Despite global progress in HIV treatment for children, the gap between adult and paediatric treatment coverage continues to widen. This gap is driven primarily by barriers to HIV diagnosis in children, but in the past decade those barriers have shifted.

Scaling-up HIV case-finding efforts for children presents several challenges, including limited access to testing services, lack of provider preparedness to offer testing to children, stigma and discrimination, policy barriers related to age of consent, and inadequate health systems. The aim of this technical brief is to offer countries a guide to address these challenges and enhance HIV case-finding for children to improve testing coverage for children at risk for HIV. This technical brief focuses primarily on how programmes can identify those children who may have missed out on EID testing, who were never tested after breastfeeding or whose mothers were not enrolled in care.

Global Accelerated Action for the Health of Adolescents (AA-HA!) - Second edition

This second edition of AA-HA! guidance to support country implementation builds on the first edition published in 2017. It is a collaborative effort spearheaded by the World Health Organization in collaboration with UNAIDS, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF, UN WOMEN, the World Food Programme and PMNCH.

Building on the solid foundation of the first edition and voices of adolescents and young adults around the world, this multi-agency product has evolved to incorporate valuable learnings from the past six years, including of the COVID-19 pandemic's impacts. Latest estimates of mortality and disease burden, updated evidence, and a broader focus on wellbeing make the second edition a cutting-edge resource for policy makers in the area of adolescent health and well-being.

AA-HA! 2.0 offers insights into the current health and well-being landscape of the world’s over 1.2 billion adolescents, underlining evidence-based solutions and presenting strategies for priority setting, planning, implementing, and evaluating health and well-being programmes. The inclusion of key implementation strategies and real-world case studies make this guide a practical tool for governments in designing and implementing a new generation of adolescent health and well-being programmes.

 

Introducing a framework for implementing triple elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B virus

This 2023 framework from WHO and partners guides operationalization of a person-centred and integrated approach to interventions that country programmes can use to effectively scale-up triple elimination efforts and reach targets.

The novel Four Pillars Framework for Triple Elimination Implementation to guide country-led planning and implementation is aligned with the GHSS on HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections 2022−2030. The overarching goal of the framework is to support countries in operationalizing the move from single (HIV) and dual elimination (HIV and syphilis) to triple elimination of HIV, syphilis and HBV. This represents a major revision and modification of the 2002 UN “four-pronged strategy” for the elimination of new HIV infections among children and keeping their mother alive to include two additional conditions − syphilis and HBV − and reflects the significant updates that have been made to WHO’s technical recommendations and guidelines in the past decade.

The Four Pillars Framework focuses on distinct target populations and comprises a minimum package of essential services for each pillar:
(1) primary prevention of infection and vertical transmission
(2) SRH linkages and integration
(3) essential maternal EMTCT services and
(4) infant, child and partner services.

Paediatric Abacavir/Lamivudine/Dolutegravir (pALD) fixed-dose combination: Introduction and rollout planning considerations for national programmes

Dolutegravir (DTG)-based HIV treatment regimens are recommended by the World Health Organization for children living with HIV (CLHIV) who weigh at least 3 kg. In 2020, the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA) granted tentative approval of paediatric DTG 10 mg scored, dispersible tablets (pDTG) for CLHIV weighing a minimum of 3 kg and at least four weeks of age. In early 2021, national HIV programmes in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) began to transition CLHIV from treatment regimens containing non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) and lopinavir/ritonavir to pDTG. As of the last quarter of 2022, at least 73 countries have already placed or received orders for pDTG1 and an estimated 130,000 children have transitioned to pDTG. pDTG currently is administered along with optimised backbone antiretrovirals (ARVs) such as abacavir/lamivudine 120/60 mg scored dispersible tablets (pABC/3TC) per the WHO’s 2021 Consolidated HIV Guidelines.

This brief aims to inform the transition from pDTG + pABC/3TC to the new fixed-dose combination (FDC) dispersible tablet of paediatric ABC/3TC/DTG 60/30/5 mg (pALD).