Paediatric and Adolescent Treatment

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

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

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.

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.

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.