HIV & AIDS

 {Photo credit: Jimmy Felix/SCMS in Haiti.}“John” is a healthy 2-year-old, thanks to HIV medication for his mother.Photo credit: Jimmy Felix/SCMS in Haiti.

SCMS and MSH at the forefront of efforts to remove supply chain barriers to the scale up of HIV/AIDS treatment programs

For many of us in the developed world, it is easy to overlook the critical role that well-functioning supply chains play in effective healthcare. When supply chains are operating as they should, we take for granted that the medicines we need will be in stock and available. Yet throughout the developing world, most patients’ access to critical health commodities is much more tenuous; linking medicines to the health professionals that provide treatment and the people who receive care remains a central challenge facing national health systems.

Ensuring that supply chains are sustainable and can tap into high-quality, low-cost medicines, presents an even greater challenge.

{Photo credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).}Photo credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Yesterday, January 9, President Obama nominated Dr. Deborah Birx as the next United States Global AIDS Coordinator -- a move MSH celebrates with others in the global AIDS and global health communities.

Dr. Birx, a renowned national and international expert in the field of HIV & AIDS, would lead the US strategy for addressing HIV globally and implementation of the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

“MSH looks forward to working with Dr. Birx and hopes to see continued progress in the US fight against AIDS,” said our President and CEO, Dr. Jonathan D. Quick.

As proud supporters of PEPFAR, we are eager for strong US leadership in the global movement to achieve an AIDS-free generation.

 {Photo credit: Brigid Boettler/MSH}MSH commemorated World AIDS Day with a special panel event on Capitol Hill on December 2, 2013.Photo credit: Brigid Boettler/MSH

To commemorate World AIDS Day, Management Sciences for Health (MSH) recently teamed up with Save the Children and ONE in conjunction with the Office of Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) to co-host an event on Capitol Hill entitled Getting to an AIDS-Free Generation: Overcoming Remaining Challenges.

{Photo credit: Warren Zelman. DRC}Photo credit: Warren Zelman. DRC

MSH's current newsletter (November/December 2013) features stories about the people on the frontlines improving health and saving lives: health workers.

A Note from Dr. Jonathan D. Quick

My MSH colleagues Mary O'Neil and Jonathan Jay blog about what we can learn from the Third Global Forum on Human Resources for Health, held this November in Recife, Brazil:

Recife Top Ten: Together Toward Health for All

 {Photo credit: Eric Miller}Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa, accepts the offer to wear an HIV-Positive T-shirt.Photo credit: Eric Miller

(Also see MSH's official statement mourning the death of Nelson Mandela. —Eds.)

I am only one of thousands of young South Africans who left our country in our teen years, fleeing persecution for our political beliefs and actions, and believing that by leaving our country we would regroup and come back to contribute to the overthrow of the apartheid, racist regime.

Did we really believe that would happen?

I must say that the overwhelming urge for us to go on with the struggle and belief was the specter of Nelson Mandela addressing us in “Freedom Square” one day soon. What was most amazing about Madiba is that, for decades, we led protest marches all over the world without even knowing what he looked like, for the regime had banned all pictures of him and all we had was an artist’s impression of what he should have looked like.

{Photo by Warren Zelman}Photo by Warren Zelman

Advancing a health systems strengthening approach to HIV & AIDS requires advocacy and education, especially of decision makers. In honor of World AIDS Day 2013 (December 1, observed in some places December 2) we invite you to commemorate the day wherever you are, and help our global family achieve an AIDS-free generation.

{Photo credit: Warren Zellman}Photo credit: Warren Zellman

I remember attending the Durban international AIDS conference in 2000, my first. That was the one where everything was going to turn around and we were going get a handle on the epidemic. Nelson Mandela spoke at that one, in a hall that was the size of three football fields. And the crowd was joyous, raucous, the noise was deafening and it was one of the most memorable days of my life. 

Before Mandela took the stage, a choir made up of kids—none more than 9 or 10 years of age and many much younger—took the stage to sing tribute to the great man and those of us gathering there.

It was charming and sweet. Everyone had a huge grin on their faces. And then I realized that this group of kids was special, maybe overheard someone nearby or perhaps the MC say that this, “was THAT group.” All were infected with the virus, and as I watched these gorgeous children singing so strong, moving and smiling and clapping with everyone, I knew, knew inside, that they probably wouldn’t live much longer.

 {Photo: Lourdes de la Peza}Keziah Samaila from Township Clinic, left, and Joy Otuokere, right, from Zuba Health Center, singing during the LDP+ training in Gwagwalada, Nigeria.Photo: Lourdes de la Peza

This post originally appeared on USAID’s IMPACT blog. USAID is observing World AIDS Day this year by celebrating ten years of HIV and AIDS work under PEPFAR.

More than 85,000 infants in Nigeria are at risk of HIV transmission from their mothers every year. While the number of HIV-positive pregnant women who receive antiretroviral treatment (ART) is increasing, robust efforts to improve coverage are needed if national targets (PDF) for prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) are to be met in 2015.

 {Photo by DCGEP via Facebook.com/InsideStory}Watching "Inside Story".Photo by DCGEP via Facebook.com/InsideStory

Great news for US-based viewers: The Discovery Channel Global Education Partnership (DCGEP) released the award-winning Pan-African feature film, Inside Story, on September 17 for digital download on platforms such as iTunes, Google Play, Comcast, and Amazon. Inside Story premiered in South Africa on World AIDS Day, December 1, 2011.

"Inside Story is making a huge impact on audiences across Africa and we are thrilled to bring this film and its unique approach to the US and the rest of the world," says DCGEP President and Executive Producer Aric Noboa. "Inside Story reveals HIV/AIDS in a way that’s personal, practical and memorable through a lens that is both entertaining and educational. Audiences stand up and cheer in the theater because it’s a great story, and at the same time everyone walks away with a fresh perspective on HIV.”

 {Photo credit: MSH}Kenyan youth holds AIDS education pamphlet.Photo credit: MSH

The Kenya National AIDS and STI Control program (NASCOP) under the Ministry of Health (MOH) disseminated preliminary results of the Kenya AIDS Indicator Survey (KAIS) 2012 on September 10, 2013. The dissemination conference was attended by all major stakeholders in the HIV and AIDS response in Kenya, including Management Sciences for Health (MSH).

The second such report, the KAIS 2012 (PDF) provides national data in comparison with the first survey in 2007.  Overall, huge improvements have been made, despite the remaining challenges and the gender, age group and geographical disparities that have persisted.  Adult HIV prevalence dropped from 7.2 percent in 2007 to 5.6 percent in 2012. The total number of people living with HIV is now estimated at 1.2 million, down from 1.4 million in 2007. Among children 18 months to 15 years, the prevalence was estimated at less than one percent (0.9 percent), which translates into about 104,000 children living with HIV in 2012. 

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