Catalysing Paediatric HIV Early Diagnosis and Treatment within West and Central Africa Country Catch-up Plans: Report of the meeting at ICASA 2017 and Agenda for Action

The West and Central Africa Catch-up Plan provides a framework for political advocacy and accelerated action for countries to adapt and scale up effective approaches and innovations that will reduce inequity in access to HIV treatment. Twelve countries have adapted this regional initiative to their national contexts and developed country catch-up plans, with the support of the World Health Organization (WHO), UNAIDS and UNICEF.

At the 19th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA), country representatives and partners took part in a meeting convened by UNICEF and UNAIDS to reflect on the shortfalls within West and Central Africa country catch-up plans and to agree on ways to sharpen acceleration strategies and interventions that will increase access to paediatric ART.

The meeting at ICASA had three high-level strategic objectives:

  1. Call greater attention to the gap in paediatric HIV testing, including EID, and paediatric treatment within the West and Central African country catch-up plans
  2. Define the priority actions for children in country catch-up plans in 2018, with a focus on: (a) expanding access to paediatric HIV testing through improved EID and rapid testing at other entry points; (b) improving immediate linkages to care and treatment; and (c) task-shifting to enable nurses within maternal, neonatal and child health facilities to treat children
  3. Galvanize partnerships in support of country catch-up plans

More information can be found in this meeting report.