EJAF and EGPAF launch new project to fight adolescent HIV in Africa

November 09, 2015

Washington, D.C., London, U.K.--Nov. 9, 2015-- The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) and the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) today launched a new project to expand HIV treatment and prevention efforts for adolescents in urban settings in Kenya and Zambia. The two-year, U.S. $2 million (£1.2 million) project will aim to improve the overall well-being and quality of life for adolescents 15-19 years of age through expansion of access to and quality of HIV/AIDS prevention, care, treatment, and support services. The project is focused on identifying adolescents who are living with HIV and getting them on treatment through expanded and targeted HIV testing in the urban settings of Kisumu, Kenya and Lusaka, Zambia.

There are currently more than 2.1 million adolescents living with HIV, many of whom don't know their HIV status and therefore are not on treatment. Through this new partnership, EGPAF and EJAF will seek to increase access to and adherence to treatment for adolescents, both of which are significantly lower in adolescents than in adults living with HIV. Adherence to treatment is essential to ensure that adolescents living with HIV survive and lead healthy lives. According to UNAIDS, more than 120,000 adolescents died from AIDS-related illnesses in 2013.

"Despite an overall decrease in the number of AIDS-related deaths worldwide, this number is actually increasing among adolescents," said Charles Lyons, EGPAF president and CEO. "We must end AIDS-related deaths and new infections in adolescents if we want to see the end of the global AIDS epidemic by 2030. Our new partnership with EJAF will allow us to reach this vulnerable population with critical services that will halt the spread of HIV among young people and bring us one step closer to achieving an AIDS-free generation."

This new project aligns with the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)'s recently launched DREAMS initiative, which seeks to expand access to HIV treatment and prevention services and reduce HIV incidence among adolescent girls and young women aged 15-24 by 40 percent by the end of 2017.

"Africa is seeing an explosion in its youth population. There are 30 percent more adolescents now than at the start of the AIDS epidemic, so it's essential we escalate our efforts to reach this group," said Anne Aslett, executive director of the Elton John AIDS Foundation. "In particular, we need to reach young women, who account for an estimated 74 percent of new HIV infections amongst adolescents. Our collaboration with EGPAF will identify more adolescents at risk of HIV, help save the lives of those infected, and prevent onward transmission of the disease among their peers. In so doing, it will enable and amplify the broader aspirations of the DREAMS initiative, by protecting thousands of young women from HIV/AIDS and supporting their transition into adulthood."

The project will strengthen the delivery of age-specific, quality, comprehensive adolescent-centered HIV and sexual reproductive health (SRH) services in health care settings. This will help ensure that adolescents are tested for HIV; know their status; and that they receive quality care, support and treatment services. By employing a cost-effective, sustainable, and feasible implementation model, the approach builds upon existing education and community-based platforms to increase awareness and generate demand across respective adolescent age groupings as an entry point for linking them into HIV care and support programs.
About the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF):

EGPAF is the global leader in the fight against pediatric HIV/ AIDS and has reached more than 21 million women with services to prevent transmission of HIV to their babies. It currently supports nearly 7,800 health facilities and works in 15 countries to implement prevention, care, and treatment services; to further advance innovative research; and to execute global advocacy activities that bring dramatic change to the lives of millions of women, children, and families worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.pedaids.org.

About the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF):

The Elton John AIDS Foundation is one of the largest private funding institutions for AIDS in the world. In the last 23 years, it has raised over £203m ($321m) to support more than 1,500 projects across four continents. This support includes over 15 programmes supporting babies and infants born with HIV across Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia, as well as 700,000 pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa at risk of passing the disease to their unborn children. Funding has helped leverage a further £228m ($355m) for programme partners, enabling them to reach millions of people infected, affected or at risk of HIV. To find out more please go to http://www.ejaf.org/london

Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation

Related HIV Articles from Brightsurf:

BEAT-HIV Delaney collaboratory issues recommendations measuring persistent HIV reservoirs
Spearheaded by Wistar scientists, top worldwide HIV researchers from the BEAT-HIV Martin Delaney Collaboratory to Cure HIV-1 Infection by Combination Immunotherapy (BEAT-HIV Collaboratory) compiled the first comprehensive set of recommendations on how to best measure the size of persistent HIV reservoirs during cure-directed clinical studies.

The Lancet HIV: Study suggests a second patient has been cured of HIV
A study of the second HIV patient to undergo successful stem cell transplantation from donors with a HIV-resistant gene, finds that there was no active viral infection in the patient's blood 30 months after they stopped anti-retroviral therapy, according to a case report published in The Lancet HIV journal and presented at CROI (Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections).

Children with HIV score below HIV-negative peers in cognitive, motor function tests
Children who acquired HIV in utero or during birth or breastfeeding did not perform as well as their peers who do not have HIV on tests measuring cognitive ability, motor function and attention, according to a report published online today in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Efforts to end the HIV epidemic must not ignore people already living with HIV
Efforts to prevent new HIV transmissions in the US must be accompanied by addressing HIV-associated comorbidities to improve the health of people already living with HIV, NIH experts assert in the third of a series of JAMA commentaries.

The Lancet HIV: Severe anti-LGBT legislations associated with lower testing and awareness of HIV in African countries
This first systematic review to investigate HIV testing, treatment and viral suppression in men who have sex with men in Africa finds that among the most recent studies (conducted after 2011) only half of men have been tested for HIV in the past 12 months.

The Lancet HIV: Tenfold increase in number of adolescents on HIV treatment in South Africa since 2010, but many still untreated
A new study of more than 700,000 one to 19-year olds being treated for HIV infection suggests a ten-fold increase in the number of adolescents aged 15 to 19 receiving HIV treatment in South Africa, according to results published in The Lancet HIV journal.

Starting HIV treatment in ERs may be key to ending HIV spread worldwide
In a follow-up study conducted in South Africa, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they have evidence that hospital emergency departments (EDs) worldwide may be key strategic settings for curbing the spread of HIV infections in hard-to-reach populations if the EDs jump-start treatment and case management as well as diagnosis of the disease.

NIH HIV experts prioritize research to achieve sustained ART-free HIV remission
Achieving sustained remission of HIV without life-long antiretroviral therapy (ART) is a top HIV research priority, according to a new commentary in JAMA by experts at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

The Lancet HIV: PrEP implementation is associated with a rapid decline in new HIV infections
Study from Australia is the first to evaluate a population-level roll-out of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in men who have sex with men.

Researchers date 'hibernating' HIV strains, advancing BC's leadership in HIV cure research
Researchers have developed a novel way for dating 'hibernating' HIV strains, in an advancement for HIV cure research.

Read More: HIV News and HIV Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.