Improving HIV Service Delivery for Infants, Children and Adolescents: Towards a framework for collective action

In June 2019, UNICEF convened a group of about 40 global experts from 24 organizations and institutions to advance the collective thinking on paediatric HIV service delivery. The aim of this “think tank” consultation was to build consensus on the specific programme interventions that need to be scaled up to improve the quality of HIV treatment services and reach more infants, children and adolescents with these lifesaving medicines.

Participating organizations included:

Aidsfonds
Africaid-Zvandiri
African Network for the Care of Children Affected by HIV/AIDS
(ANECCA)
Baylor College of Medicine
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI)
Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF)
ELMA Philanthropies
Health Innovations Kenya
FHI 360
ICAP at Columbia University
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)
Kenya Ministry of Health
Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC)
Pact
Pediatric-Adolescent Treatment Africa (PATA)
Positive Action for Children Fund (PACF) / ViiV Healthcare
Réseau Enfants et VIH en Afrique (EVA)
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
University of Nairobi
United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
World Health Organization (WHO)
World Council of Churches – Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (WCC–EAA)
Yale University

Experts addressed the gaps in the continuum of care which are causing children to be missed before they are tested, before they are given their test results and before they are provided with lifelong treatment and care. Read more about the evidence base and the call for action in the brief above.

Paediatric Service Delivery Framework


The paediatric service delivery framework presents strategies to address bottlenecks across the continuum of care for each population: infants, children and adolescents. This includes keeping mothers who receive interventions for the prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT) and their infants in care; locating missing infants, children and adolescents through family and index testing; linking those diagnosed with HIV to services; treating them with efficacious regimens and retaining them on treatment to achieve viral suppression. It describes comprehensive and targeted service delivery models, which emphasize strong linkages between testing, treatment and care, and between communities and facilities.

The framework was developed by a group of global experts who were convened by UNICEF in June 2019 to advance the collective thinking on paediatric HIV service delivery. The partnership's analysis of current evidence and specific programme interventions that need to be scaled up to improve the quality of HIV treatment services and reach more infants, children and adolescents with these lifesaving medicines is presented here.

The full framework, policy briefs and supporting worksheets are available for download (updated July 2020).

CROI Summary 2017 (Mar 2017)

A total of 105 participants from Uganda, Nepal, Iran, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya, and many other countries attended the webinar on March 9th which featured new research on PMTCT and pediatric treatment presented at CROI 2017.

The links to the webinar, presentations, and webinar summary are below:

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Presented on March 9, 2017

Mental Health and Antiretroviral Treatment Adherence among Adolescents Living with HIV 

Building on research findings and effective interventions in low-and middle-income countries, this policy brief identifies key risks, including bullying and stigma, and facilitators, such as positive parenting and social support, that influence pathways between mental health and HIV outcomes for adolescents. It is part of a broader series that aims to support the translation of research into improved adolescent sexual reproductive health and HIV programming.

Good mental health and psychosocial wellbeing is especially important for adolescents during their transition to adulthood. It can support resilience and help initiate healthy behaviours that shape long-term positive health outcomes. Evidence shows that adolescents living with HIV are more likely to experience mental health challenges compared to their peers who do not have HIV. Poor mental health outcomes have been linked to low rates of adherence to life-saving antiretroviral treatment (ART) and retention in care.  Understanding risk factors and protective factors that influence mental health and ART adherence amongst adolescents is critical for effective programming. Within eastern and southern Africa, there is great momentum to identify and scale-up interventions that address mental health and improve treatment, care and support for adolescents living with HIV.