ABSTRACT: There is a significant increase in survival for HIV-infected children who have early access to diagnosis and treatment. The goal of this multi-country review was to examine when and where HIV-exposed infants and children are being diagnosed, and whether the EID service is being maximally utilized to improve health outcomes for HIV-exposed children.
In four countries across Africa and Asia existing documents and data were reviewed and key informant interviews were conducted. EID testing data was gathered from the central testing laboratories and was then complemented by health facility level data extraction which took place using a standardized and validated questionnaire
In the four countries reviewed from 2006 to 2009 EID sample volumes rose dramatically to an average of >100 samples per quarter in Cambodia and Senegal, >7,000 samples per quarter in Uganda, and >2,000 samples per quarter in Namibia. Geographic coverage of sites also rapidly expanded to 525 sites in Uganda, 205 in Namibia, 48 in Senegal, and 26 in Cambodia in 2009. However, only a small proportion of testing was done at lower-level health facilities: in Uganda Health Center IIs and IIIs comprised 47% of the EID collection sites, but only 11% of the total tests, and in Namibia 15% of EID sites collected >93% of all samples. In all countries except for Namibia, more than 50% of the EID testing was done after 2 months of age. Few sites had robust referral mechanisms between EID and ART. In a sub-sample of children, we noted significant attrition of infants along the continuum of care post testing. Only 22% (Senegal), 37% (Uganda), and 38% (Cambodia) of infants testing positive by PCR were subsequently initiated onto treatment. In Namibia, which had almost universal EID coverage, more than 70% of PCR-positive infants initiated ART in 2008.
While EID testing has expanded dramatically, a large proportion of PCR- positive infants are initiated on treatment. As EID services continue to scale-up, more programmatic attention and support is needed to retain HIV-exposed infants in care and ensure that those testing positive initiate treatment in a timely manner. Namibia's experience demonstrates that it is feasible for a rural, low-income country to achieve high national coverage of infant testing and treatment.
BMC Public Health 07/2011; 11:553. · 2.00 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: A growing number of countries are moving to scale up interventions for prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV in maternal and child health services. Similarly, many are working to improve access to paediatric HIV treatment. This paper reviews national programme data for 2004-2005 from low- and middle-income countries to track progress in these programmes. The attainment of the UNGASS target of reducing HIV infections by 50% by 2010 necessitates that 80% of all pregnant women accessing antenatal care receive PMTCT services. In 2005, only seven of the 71 countries were on track to meet this target. However PMTCT coverage increased from 7% in 2004 (58 countries) to 11% in 2005 (71 countries). In 2005, 8% of all infants born to HIV positive mothers received antiretroviral prophylaxis for PMTCT, up from 5% in 2004, though only 4% received cotrimoxazole. 11% of HIV positive children in need received antiretroviral treatment in 2005. In 31 countries that had data, 28% of women who received an antiretroviral for PMTCT also reported receiving antiretroviral treatment for their own health. Achieving the UNGASS target is possible but will require substantial investments and commitment to strengthen maternal and child health services, the health workforce and health systems to move from pilot projects to a decentralised, integrated approach.
Reproductive Health Matters 12/2007; 15(30):179-89. · 1.37 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: No more than 8% of HIV positive children needing treatment in low- and middle-income countries have access to antiretroviral drugs (ARVs). Children presently account for about 4% of all treated patients, while for equitable access they should make up at least 13%.
This study explores key issues, implications and interaction dynamics to boost production of easy-to-use and affordable fixed-dose combination (FDC) ARVs for children in the developing world. Potentials for equitable solutions are examined including priority steps and actions, appropriate treatment options and reliable forecasting methods for paediatric ARVs, as well as combination incentives to generic companies against market unattractiveness and enforced intellectual property (IP) rights. Moreover, implementation strategies to enhance the development and production of affordable ARV paediatric formulations and appropriate supply systems to ensure availability are investigated.
The current market for FDC paediatric ARVs is already substantial and will only grow with improved and scaled up diagnosis and monitoring of children. This provides an argument for immediate increase of production and development of FDC ARVs for children. These formulations must be low cost and included in the list of Essential Medicines to avoid children continuing to lag behind in access to treatment. Access-oriented, long-term drug policy strategies with the ability to pass muster of governments, the UN system, as well as generic and research-based enterprises are needed to let children gain expanded and sustained access to FDC ARVs. Under the requirements listed above, IP-bound Voluntary License (VL) flexibilities do appear, if coupled with substantial combination incentives to generic firms, as a fitting tool into the needs. Policies must consider enhancing human resource capacity in the area of caregivers and social and health workers aiming to spread correct information and awareness on effectiveness and rationale of FDC ARVs for children. Policies should urge that paediatric ARV treatment programmes entwine with extant interventions on prevention of mother-to-child transmission, as well as with HIV treatment initiatives focused on mothers and household members. Policies, again, should consider centralising functions and pooling resources to help overcome drug supply barriers. WHO's brokering role in VL-based agreements between wealthy and developing country industries, as well as its technical guidance in setting international standards should not be waived while looking for sustained access to optimised ARV treatments for children. Strategies discussed in this paper, while taking unavoidability of marketing and profit rules into account, look closely into the trade and drug policy directions of China and India according to frontier crossing implications of their IP management trends as well as their multi-faceted penetration strategies of both the wealthy and under-served markets the world over.
Current HIV research 04/2007; 5(2):155-87. · 1.98 Impact Factor