This guide is one of a series of good practice guides, and contains information, strategies and resources to help HIV programmers implement HIV programming for adolescents. Adolescents are now included as a separate target group in global and national strategies. Increased access to HIV testing and treatment means that, more than ever, adolescents living with HIV know their status and are living longer on antiretroviral therapy (ART). Much more work is needed, however, to meet adolescents’ needs for prevention, care, treatment and support services. Barriers to access, poor uptake of both prevention and treatment services, stigma and discrimination, as well as challenges with adherence to treatment contribute significantly to HIV-related morbidity and mortality among adolescents. This Good Practice Guide contains information, strategies and resources to help programmers meet the standards for Alliance HIV programming for adolescents. Implementing these standards is one of the ways that the Alliance, our partners and other organisations define and promote a unified and quality-driven approach to HIV programming.
Equity and HIV/AIDS
In 2006, the Society for Adolescent Medicine issued its second position paper on HIV/AIDS in adolescents. It noted that although great progress had been made in the scientific understanding, diagnosis and treatment of HIV, and the prevention of perinatal transmission, there was a growing HIV crisis in the developing world. At least half of all new infections in the developing world were amongst youth and young adults, and a substantial number of teenagers and young adults were already living with HIV and AIDS. As HIV epidemics mature, increasing numbers of children infected perinatally survive and will present with HIV-related symptoms in older childhood and adolescence. Whilst the epidemiology of sexually acquired HIV infection amongst 15–24 year olds is well described in southern Africa, few data on the prevalence and disease pattern of perinatally acquired HIV infection in older children and adolescence exist. Recent data from a household survey conducted in South Africa in 2008 estimated the prevalence of HIV in children aged 2–14 years to be 2.5%. The survey indicates the relatively high prevalence of HIV in children and adolescents in this region. Most of these infections are acquired early in life and are probably undiagnosed.
Developing countries will be paying less for two anti-AIDS drugs produced by multinational pharmaceutical company, Gilead Sciences. In a statement Gilead said it had dropped the cost of Viread by 31 percent and that of Truvada by 12 percent. Both medications are already sold at no-profit prices in 97 developing countries around the world.
Signed by the African Network for the Campaign on Education for All (ANCEFA), African Womens Development and Communications Network (FEMNET), African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights (ACDHR), Center for Democracy and Development (CDD), Pan African Movement (PAM), Pan African Development Education and Advocacy Programme(PADEAP), West African Students Union (WASU), Womens Rights Advancement and Protection Alternatives (WRAPA), Development Network of Indigenous Voluntary Agencies (DENIVA), Fahamu, ActionAid International, Oxfam GB
The fourth Ordinary African Union Summit of the Heads of States takes place at a time when the consequences of poorly financed and collapsing public health services across the continent can only be described as a public health emergency. Returning to Abuja where four years ago they committed themselves to accelerate the fight against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and other related infectious diseases, it is clear that key obstacles continue to prevent hundreds of millions of Africans from realising the right to health. African Governments and the African Union must reinvigorate the fight against the violation of HIV/AIDS and health related rights.
- African Governments must commit to increasing GDP allocation for health by three per cent each year in order to reach the 2001 Abuja Summit commitments of 15%. - African government should ensure that treatment of AIDS and infectious diseases is provided free, reaches vulnerable groups and in an accountable manner. - African Governments, who have to yet ratify the AU Protocol on the Rights of Women, must do so. It is a major instrument in securing the right to health for Africa's women and girls. - The African Union Commission must lead on lobbying the G8 in 2005 for debt cancellation and measures from industrialised countries to compensate for the brain drain of African health workers. - The African Union Commission must lead on lobbying the G8 in 2005 for debt cancellation and securing measures from industrialised countries to compensate for the brain drain of African health workers. - African Governments must mandate the African Union Commission to champion for enabling laws and policies in member states and a coordinated global advocacy approach towards the WTO Hong Kong Inter-ministerial in December 2005.
African heads of state meet this week in Abuja, Nigeria, to review progress made in reversing the spread of HIV/Aids, malaria, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases.
The Swiss-based Basel giant pharmmaceutical company, Roche, said that it would supply free-of-charge three companies in Africa, with the technical ability to manufacture generic medicine for HIV, the virus that leads to AIDS. In an announcement on 22 September, Roche added that Aspen Pharmacare in South Africa and Cosmos Limited and Universal Corporation Limited in Kenya will receive the necessary technical expertise. The Basel based firm said another 25 companies from 14 countries, including Ghana, Zimbabwe and Nigeria were interested in the initiative. The agreements are the first in a series of planned technology transfers for sub-Saharan Africa and the world's Least Developed Countries, which were announced in January 2006.
Recognising the need for an Africa-wide movement, a Pan- African Treatment Access Movement (PATAM) has been founded. Zackie Achmat of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) of South Africa, and Milly Katana, lobbying and advocacy officer of the Health Rights Action Group in Uganda were among the founders. PATAM is a social movement comprised of individuals and organisations dedicated to mobilising communities, political leaders and all sectors of society to ensure access to anti-retroviral therapy, as a fundamental part of comprehensive care for all people living with HIV and AIDS in Africa. Since its inauguration on August 22, 2002, the movement has been growing. On March 4-6, PATAM will be hosting its third regional conference on Access to Treatment in Harare, Zimbabwe.
In theory, preventing HIV/AIDS seems simple enough: give people information on how the disease is spread, and the desire for self-preservation will, naturally, make them adopt safer sexual behaviour. The reality has proved much more complex. Almost 30 years after it was first diagnosed, ignorance about HIV/AIDS still persists. According to the UNAIDS Epidemic Update for 2005, [www.unaids.org] "there is new evidence that prevention programmes initiated some time ago are currently helping to bring down HIV prevalence in Kenya and Zimbabwe" but, overall, prevention efforts have a poor track record, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, which is home to two-thirds of all people living with HIV.
The world's need for antiretroviral drug (ARV) access is "far from met" due to funding shortfalls, Richard Feachem, executive director of the Global Fund, has said following the release of a UNAIDS epidemic update. Stressing that the Global Fund to fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was still in need of US $3.3 billion to meet its 2006 and 2007 goals, Feachem said the UNAIDS report was an affirmation that global investments and commitment could have an impact on the devastation of the pandemic.
A United Nations plan to provide three million HIV-infected patients in Africa with anti-retroviral drugs by 2005 is in danger of collapsing owing to lack of funds, UN and World Health Organisation officials said. Some countries, particularly the United States, are balking at supporting the project, Aids workers say, partly because the plan intends to use a form of medicine called fixed-dose combination antiretroviral drugs whose use is opposed by large pharmaceutical companies.