An essential first step in caring for HIV-infected children is accurate and early diagnosis of HIV, early HIV testing, prompt return of results, and rapid initiation of treatment. Survival of HIV‐infected infants depends on a robust early infant diagnosis (EID) system that allows for tracking of infants through to their final HIV status. HIV-infected, untreated infants have rapid disease progression and high mortality—half of HIV‐infected infants will die by age 2 without treatment. Investment to scale-up EID has increased substantially in the last decade; however, despite these efforts, timely infant diagnosis remains a challenge.
On Thursday, January 18, 2018, AIDSFree hosted a webinar on early infant diagnosis (EID) including an introduction to EID and presentations on a data-driven strategy to improve linkage to care of HIV-positive infants in South Africa as well as use of a mother-baby tracking tool; a quality improvement collaborative (QIC) to improve the coverage and timeliness of EID services for HIV-exposed infants in Cameroon; and integrating point-of-care (POC) EID in Lesotho to reduce the time for delivering HIV test results to a baby’s caregiver and to increase HIV testing and ART initiation among HIV-exposed and infected infants.
Q&A Responses (PDF, 235 KB)
Meet the Speakers
Alexandra Vrazo (PhD, MPH)
Dr. Vrazo is the Senior HIV/AIDS Clinical Services Advisor for pediatric and maternal clinical services in the Office of HIV/AIDS at USAID. She provides technical support for programs focused on HIV care and treatment for children and pregnant and breastfeeding women. Dr. Vrazo works with USAID strategic partners and stakeholders to review, monitor, and analyze data on the technical quality of PEPFAR programs. Her work has also included support to scale-up of early infant diagnosis and viral load monitoring programs to identify gaps in service delivery.
David Sullivan (MD)
Dr. Sullivan is a Pediatric and PMTCT Technical Advisor for pediatric and maternal clinical services in the Office of HIV/AIDS at USAID. He works with USAID strategic partners and stakeholders to review, monitor, and analyze data on the technical quality of PEPFAR programs. His work has also included support to scale-up of early infant diagnosis and viral load monitoring programs to identify gaps in service delivery.
Tihnje Abena (RN, MPH)
Tihnje Abena Mbah is the ICAP Cameroon Quality Improvement (QI) Advisor where she led the Early Infant Diagnosis Quality Improvement Collaborative Impact Project (EID QICIP) in Cameroon. In collaboration with Ministry of Health (MoH). Prior to Joining ICAP, Tihnje worked at Population Service International in Cameroon, where she supported the design, implementation and evaluation of Reproductive Health, Family Planning and HIV programs in health provider franchise networks (ProFam). She obtained her Master’s in Public Health and Bachelor’s in Nursing Science from the Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences of the University of Yaoundé I in 2010 and 2008 respectively.
Gillian Dougherty (BSN, MPH)
Gillian Dougherty joined ICAP Columbia University in New York City in 2013 where she leads the QI team as the Senior QI Technical Advisor. From 2010 to 2013, she served as the QI Advisor for CDC Tanzania in Dar es Salaam. She received an MPH in International Health from Boston University in 2007, where she also served as a nurse consultant for the Lesotho -Boston University Health Alliance in Maseru, Lesotho, from 2006 to 2008. Her clinical experience began as a Cardiac Intensive Care Unit Registered Nurse (RN) in a Level One trauma center in Denver, Colorado from 1995 to 2005. She developed a passion for the science of quality improvement, patient safety and patient-centered care through her work at the trauma center..
Candice Fick (MBBCh, MSc Med, DipHIVMan)
Dr. Fick is the Senior Programme Manager for maternal, child and adolescent health with the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute, South Africa. She provides support and oversight for health systems strengthening activities focused on HIV care and treatment in women, children and adolescents as well as eMTCT. Her work has included clinical tools development, training, mentoring, programme support and providing technical support and expertise. She supports the Paediatric Adolescent Scale-up Project in the City of Johannesburg, which has implemented numerous innovations and QI activities to strengthen paediatric HIV care in the region.
Lucy Ranoto (MBBS)
Dr. Ranoto is a Senior Clinical Advisor at Anova Health Institute in South Africa.
Esther Tumbare (MBChB, DMH, MPH)
Esther Tumbare has over 10 years of technical experience managing public health HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment programs. She has vast technical experience in evidence-based HIV programming and clinical and operational research. Currently, Dr. Tumbare serves as the Director for Technical Services with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF)/Lesotho, where she is responsible for the technical direction of the country TB and HIV care and treatment program, working closely with the Country Director.