UNICEF

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).

All In to #EndAdolescentAIDS

To end the AIDS epidemic by 2030, specific—yet flexible—strategies are needed for different age groups, populations and geographical locations. Ending the epidemic among adolescents requires amplifying investments where they can make the most difference and fostering innovation by adolescents and youth themselves, as well as governments, international organizations, civil society and the private sector.

Understanding and Improving Viral Load Suppression in Children with HIV In Eastern and Southern Africa

In 2019 it was estimated that 1.2 million children (0-14) were living with HIV in Eastern and Southern Africa, yet more than a half million of these children (504,000) were not receiving lifesaving treatment. Children with HIV need to achieve viral load suppression if they are to lead long and healthy lives. Population-based surveys in Malawi, Uganda and Zimbabwe found that children on treatment fare worse in achieving viral load suppression compared to adults; 42 per cent vs 67 per cent, 39 per cent vs 84 per cent and 47 per cent vs 86 per cent respectively. Ending AIDS will not be possible without accelerating progress for children.

UNICEF, in collaboration with governments and partners, supported a mixed method study that included literature review, assessment of laboratory data in Malawi, Uganda and Zimbabwe and interviews with health workers and caregivers in Malawi to find out what is behind these low rates. The study found that one out of every three children who had a viral load test had not achieved viral load suppression. Support networks for caregivers and children improved adherence and made a difference towards outcome. The full report describes the methodology, key findings, challenges and proposes concrete recommendations to improve treatment outcomes for children with HIV. The accompanying advocacy brief summarizes the key findings and provides action-oriented next steps