AIDSFree contributed to the 19th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) with abstracts on supply chain strengthening, reaching HIV-positive children, and using voluntary medical male circumcision to involve men in the health care system.
Early Infant Male Circumcision Services for HIV Prevention: A Gateway for Fathers to Receive HIV Testing Services in Iringa Region, Tanzania
Lead Author: Michael Machaku, AIDSFree/Jhpiego Corporation
The World Health Organization and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS recommends that voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) be scaled up for the prevention of heterosexually acquired HIV infection in areas with high HIV prevalence and low male circumcision coverage. For long-term, sustainable coverage, early infant male circumcision can be introduced to established VMMC programs. More early infant male circumcision equates to fewer adolescents and adults needing male circumcision in the future.
Since 2013, AIDSFree has supported regional authorities in Iringa Region, Tanzania, in integrating early infant male circumcision (EIMC) into reproductive and child health services at 16 health facilities there. From March 2013 to September 2016, AIDSFree supported 4,895 early infant male circumcisions. Among fathers of these infants, 27% accompanied their male infants to EIMC care and of these, 86% agreed to receive HIV testing services. Seven percent of the tested fathers were found to be HIV-positive and referred for care and treatment services. The authors endorse the strategy of offering HIV testing services as an integrated part of EIMC in reproductive and child health services and recommend strategies for increasing the proportion of fathers who participate in their infants’ EIMC-related care.
Impact of Electronic Information Systems on HIV Service Delivery in Zambia
Lead Author: Wendy Bomett, AIDSFree/JSI Research and Training Institute, Inc.
The Zambian Ministry of Health has faced many challenges in managing procurement and distribution of medical products and supplies. Long lead times, stockouts, and general inefficiency has characterized the in-country supply chain. To address these issues, AIDSFree worked with the Zambian government to pilot and scale up an electronic Logistics Management Information System (eLMIS). This open-source supply chain software facilitates logistics data collection by incorporating medical records and laboratory data and enabling data visibility from the point of origin to the point of delivery. With one exception not related to eLMIS, availability of pharmaceuticals increased after implementation of the system. Among facilities with eLMIS, reporting rates between April and September 2017 remained above 90 percent. Despite these advances, there is a need to continue cultivating reliance on data for decisionmaking, supervision, and policy development. The Zambian experience will benefit neighboring countries grappling with similar challenges in eLMIS implementation.
Pediatric HIV Champions in Action: A Community-Based Approach to Improve Pediatric Referrals and Care in an Urban Informal Settlement
Lead Author: Cudjoe Bennett, AIDSFree/IMA World Health
AIDSFree is expanding pediatric HIV services in Nairobi, Kenya, through a public-private alliance composed of more than 25 private clinics, as well as key public sector partners. AIDSFree mobilized a team of 13 religious leaders, 16 community health workers, and 11 youth leaders as community pediatric champions. The project trained them on pediatric HIV transmission and prevention, and helped develop action plans for community outreach, including referrals for testing. Data from August 2016 through October 2017 suggest that champions have been effective. Overall, 4,201 children, adolescents, and young people were referred for health facility services including HIV testing. Forty-one percent of referrals were young girls; most were for youth 15-19 years (39%) and 10-14 years (29%). Those ages 10-19 represented about one-third of the population provided with psychosocial services, including nutrition and adherence support.