AHF, Partners and Celebrities Light up Atlanta : Vote To End HIV.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation ( AHF )  and  partners lit up the city of Atlanta for a good cause this past weekend.

Stars like the legendary Patti La’belle;  Common and renowned activist Rev. Al Sharpton gathered for the Vote To End HIV concert ; exactly 50 years after voting rights were extended to African Americans.

The African American community still accounts for high HIV rate in the United States and the concert was a crucial reminder that we all have a role to play in ending HIV.

For more information and photos,  visit  Vote2endHIV.org

RRA

HIV News making the rounds …….Milestones

In the past few weeks , the HIV/AIDS community has seen some tremendous progress and achieved great milestones.

UNAIDS officially informed the world that the goal of placing 15 million people on life saving treatment by year 2015 has been reached nine months ahead of schedule; a feat which demonstrates that ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 is possible.  This great news is coming on the heels of the global transitioning from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

There has been decline in new infections, AIDS related deaths and reduction in drug pricing among others. Some countries like Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Ethiopia in Sub-Saharan Africa recorded visible success in halting and reversing the epidemic.  Despite this achievement, the HIV/AIDS community can not rest on its oars just yet , as there is still a lot to be done. The criminalization of HIV, low domestic funding, cut back in donor funding, high prevalence in women and girls, poor lab monitoring, and drug stock-outs are issues which require urgent intervention.

See: http://www.unaids.org/en/resources/presscentre/pressreleaseandstatementarchive/2015/july/20150714_PR_MDG6report

New Consolidated guidelines on HIV Testing Services  :  WHO also released the new consolidated guidelines on HIV Testing Services ; which can be summarized in 5Cs – Consent, Confidentiality, Counselling, Correct test results and Connection.

See : http://www.who.int/hiv/pub/guidelines/hiv-testing-services/en/

The 8th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention is currently ongoing in Vancouver , Canada. Visit the http://www.ias2015.org/  daily updates.

RRA

CUBA MAKES HISTORY IN HIV/AIDS RESPONSE ….EMTCT

The month of July started pretty hopeful for members, partners, organizations and service providers in the HIV/AIDS response globally, as news trickled in that the World Health Organization, had validated elimination of mother-to-child transmission (EMTCT) of HIV and syphilis in Cuba.

This validation makes Cuba the first Country in the world to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis. A feat that is not only commendable but also reinforces that an AIDS Free Generation is possible.

While Cuba may have eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV , most countries still grapple with Mother-To-Child Transmission of HIV, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa.  In 2013 , about 240,000 children were born with HIV (WHO).

We hope that Cuba can share her best practices on EMTCT with the rest of the world, and more countries will join Cuba in recording great success in their HIV/AIDS response.

WHO | WHO validates elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis in Cuba.

 

RRA

Eliminating Mother-To-Child Transmission is possible…..

Nigeria accounts for about 22% of mother-to-child transmission of HIV cases in the world and about 90% of  HIV infections in infants and children globally is passed on by their mothers during pregnancy, delivery or breastfeeding.

However, despite the alarming statistics preventing mother-to-child transmission is possible through life saving ARVs and Nigeria is committed to eliminating mother-to-child transmissions , through numerous initiatives.  We need to encourage every pregnant woman to seek HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) in the nearest health facility.

This singular act, has a tremendous potential of reducing HIV infections among infants and children and ultimately aiding the elimination of mother-to-child transmission globally.

Doris is HIV+ but because she had access to treatment, her son Michael was born HIV free. (Photo courtesy of RED)

EMTCT(Photo courtesy of RED)

We all have a role to play!

RRA

New formulation of HIV treatment to save more children’s lives — UNICEF and UNAIDS | UNAIDS

Breakthrough in pediatric HIV treatment, as FDA makes a decision to approve new antiretroviral formulation that can be mixed with food. This innovation would make it easier for HIV positive children to take their medication, without dealing with unpleasant tasting medicines.

“Only 24 percent of children living with HIV have access to antiretroviral medicines…… ”

New formulation of HIV treatment to save more children’s lives — UNICEF and UNAIDS | UNAIDS. Source : UNAIDS