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Trends in Antiretroviral Therapy Eligibility and Coverage Among Children Aged <15 Years with HIV Infection - 20 PEPFAR-Supported Sub-Saharan African Countries, 2012-2016.
MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2018 May 18; 67(19):552-555.Rapid disease progression and associated opportunistic infections contribute to high mortality rates among children aged <15 years with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection (1). Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has decreased childhood HIV-associated morbidity and mortality rates over the past decade (2). As accumulating evidence revealed lower HIV-associated mortality with early ART initiation, the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines broadened ART eligibility for children with HIV infection (2). Age at ART initiation for children with HIV infection expanded sequentially in the 2010, 2013, and 2016 WHO guidelines to include children aged <2, <5, and <15 years, respectively, regardless of clinical or immunologic status (3-5). The United States President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has supported ART for children with HIV infection since 2003 and, informed by the WHO guidelines and a growing evidence base, PEPFAR-supported countries have adjusted their national pediatric guidelines. To understand the lag between guideline development and implementation, as well as the ART coverage gap, CDC assessed national pediatric HIV guidelines and analyzed Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; UNAIDS) data on children aged <15 years with HIV infection and the numbers of these children on ART. Timeliness of WHO pediatric ART guideline adoption varied by country; >50% of children with HIV infection are not receiving ART, underscoring the importance of strengthening case finding and linkage to HIV treatment in pediatric ART programs.
National responses to global health targets: exploring policy transfer in the context of the UNAIDS '90-90-90' treatment targets in Ghana and Uganda.
Health Policy and Planning. 2018 Jan 1; 33(1):17-33.Global health organizations frequently set disease-specific targets with the goal of eliciting adoption at the national-level; consideration of the influence of target setting on national policies, program and health budgets is of benefit to those setting targets and those intended to respond. In 2014, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS set ‘ambitious’ treatment targets for country adoption: 90% of HIV-positive persons should know their status; 90% of those on treatment; 90% of those achieving viral suppression. Using case studies from Ghana and Uganda, we explore how the target and its associated policy content have been adopted at the national level. That is whether adoption is in rhetoric only or supported by program, policy or budgetary changes. We review 23 (14 from Ghana, 9 from Uganda) national policy, operational and strategic documents for the HIV response and assess commitments to ‘90-90-90’. In-person semi-structured interviews were conducted with purposively sampled key informants (17 in Ghana, 20 in Uganda) involved in program-planning and resource allocation within HIV to gain insight into factors facilitating adoption of 90-90-90. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed thematically, inductively and deductively, guided by pre-existing policy theories, including Dolowitz and Marsh’s policy transfer framework to describe features of the transfer and the Global Health Advocacy and Policy Project framework to explain observations. Regardless of notable resource constraints, transfer of the 90-90-90 targets was evident beyond rhetoric with substantial shifts in policy and programme activities. In both countries, there was evidence of attempts to minimize resource constraints by seeking programme efficiencies, prioritization of program activities and devising domestic financing mechanisms; however, significant resource gaps persist. An effective health network, comprised of global and local actors, mediated the adoption and adaptation, facilitating a shift in the HIV program from ‘business as usual’ to approaches targeting geographies and populations.