Getting to Zero: Zero New HIV Infections. Zero Discrimination. Zero AIDS Related Deaths
PCI joins the global community in the commemoration of World AIDS Day 2014 in remembrance of those who have lost their lives to AIDS and in remaining committed to continuing the fight to find a cure while improving the lives of those living with and affected by HIV. Globally, 35 million people are living with HIV, with 71% of them living in sub-Saharan Africa. In sub-Saharan Africa, adolescent girls and young women account for one in four new HIV infections; and 2 out of 3 new infections are occurring in Africa. HIV prevalence, compared to the general adult population is estimated to be 28 times higher among people who inject drugs, 12 times higher among sex workers, 19 times higher among gay men and other men who have sex with men, and up to 49 times higher among transgender women. While new HIV infections have dropped by 38% since 2001, there were 2.1 million people newly infected in 2013. And while almost 90% of people who tested positive for HIV went on to access antiretroviral therapy (ART) in sub-Saharan Africa, globally there are still 22 million people who are not accessing life-saving treatment (UNAIDS, 2014).
PCI is committed to contributing to the new UNAIDS Fast Track Approach and new UNAIDS Global Targets to control the epidemic: 90-90-90 by 2020, 90% of those with HIV tested and know their status, 90% of those with HIV on treatment, and 90% of those on treatment with suppressed viral load by 2020. Building upon and leveraging its many community-based and clinical program platforms including home based care services, schools, mobile and static health services, and local government and community structures, PCI implements quality integrated and community driven programming to meet the HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support, and treatment needs of communities and families. Moreover, PCI has successfully leveraged those platforms for even greater impact to address other community needs such as for economic and social empowerment of women, preventing gender based violence, meeting nutrition needs of families, and early childhood development. Below are a few snapshots and results from our work to improve the lives of people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.
Through integrated HIV testing and counseling and cervical cancer screening and treatment services, PCI:
- Reached 3,507 women in 23 rural and peri-urban communities with integrated cervical cancer screening —using visual inspection with acetic acid (VIA) and provider initiated HIV testing and counseling (PITC) services; 18.5% who tested HIV positive and 3.4% or 121 women who were VIA positive (had pre-cancerous lesions) and received treatment using cryotherapy and Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP).
Through Option B+ (Treatment as Prevention) and Early Infant Diagnosis (EID), PCI:
- Supported 5 primary health care centers located in 5 hard to reach military cantonments to transition from providing maternal AZT prophylaxis and maternal triple ARV prophylaxis (Option A and Option B) to prevent mother to child transmission to providing lifelong triple ART as both prophylaxis and lifelong treatment (Option B+)
- Supported community prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) lay counselors and safe motherhood action group (SMAG) members in the catchment areas of the 5 Option B+ facilities to identify 139 HIV positive pregnant women; 73 of whom were initiated on lifelong ART (Option B+) and 66 received ARV and ART prophylaxis to prevent vertical transmission
- 90 HIV exposed infants were identified in the five sites and of these, 55 (61%) received their first virologic HIV test between six weeks and two months of birth while 35 (39%) received their first virologic HIV test between two months and 12 months of age.
Through provision of critical services for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC):
- PCI reached 6,339 OVC in 18 military units and surrounding communities in hard to reach rural areas of Zambia with core services including community-and school-based psychosocial support services; home-based HIV testing and Counseling, community case management of childhood pneumonia, malaria, diarrhea and malnutrition, and child protection treatment of childhood illnesses using the CCMCI methodology; basic care services, nutrition counseling and support services, and child protection services
- 1,011 OVC were able to access health and educational services because of savings and small loans accessed by their primary caregivers from the Women Empowered (WE) Savings Groups mobilized by PCI
- 1,822 OVC from vulnerable households were able to pay educational related fees and remain in schools because PCI provided their primary caregivers with Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs)
Through Nutrition Assessment Counseling and Support (NACS) Services for People Living with HIV (PLHIV):
- 3,367 PLHIV accessing HIV treatment care and support services in 17 facilities were reached with nutrition assessment, counseling and support services (NACS) as part of the standard of care; 1,615 of these were diagnosed with moderate or severe malnutrition and received therapeutic feeding using ready to use therapeutic food (RUTF) and High Energy Protein in Supplements (HEPS)
In FY 2014, through our US Department of Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program,
- 9519 individuals received HIV testing and counseling services and received their test results in 13 military units; 1,025 (10.8%) were found to be HIV positive
- 5004 individuals were screened for TB in 13 military units
- 595 individuals were newly enrolled on ART
- Overall, 19,576 individuals received a prevention intervention including HIV counseling and testing, voluntary medical male circumcision, PMTCT services, gender-based violence prevention, and adherence support
Since 2012, under the IMPACT project, PCI has placed 12 trained Expert Clients (ECs), HIV-positive volunteers, in 6 health facilities. ECs provide HIV/AIDS education, escort patients between services, provide adherence counseling, follow-up with pre-ART and ART clients who miss appointments, trace defaulters, and return them to care. ECs have administered individual ART adherence counseling sessions to 1,935 people (792 males; 1,143 females).
Under the USAID-funded Tsela Kgopo OVC & Gender Project, PCI:
- Reached a total of 11,676 individuals (4,596 males; 7,080 females) with HIV prevention and care services including nutrition, health, education, and psychosocial support services; 3,462 of which were HIV positive adults and children
- Reached 2,596 children (1,189 males; 1,407 females) with Integrated Early Childhood Development services, including through an informal play/stimulation service delivery model
- 6,624 individuals (2,275 males; 4,349 females) were reached by individual, small group or community level interventions that address gender-based violence and coercion related to HIV/AIDS
- 4,138 individuals (4,138 males, 2,711 females) were reached by an individual, small group or community level intervention or service that addresses the legal rights and protection of women and girls impacted by HIV/AIDS
In Ethiopia PCI’s SAFE project focused on nutrition, hygiene, and economic strengthening support to PMTCT and pediatric HIV clients, facilitating improvements in food and nutrition security for 40,248 HIV+ pregnant mothers and children in Addis Ababa, improved retention of women in PMTCT services and improved adherence of children enrolled in ART. The program has also provided local gardening training and supplies to affected families.
Through the Project for Accelerated Technical Assistance and Integrated Capacity Building for HIV/AIDS (PRATIBHA), PCI has:
- Improved the quality of HIV laboratory services and strengthened the capacity of reference laboratories through implementation of quality management systems
- Facilitated accreditation of 11 national and 44 state reference labs from a 2009 baseline of zero, out of a total of 130 reference labs
- Facilitated improvement in adherence to quality standards in over 90 labs
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