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Adoption of the 2015 World Health Organization guidelines on antiretroviral therapy: Programmatic implications for India.
WHO South - East Asia Journal of Public Health. 2017 Apr; 6(1):90-93.The therapeutic and preventive benefits of early initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV are now well established. Reflecting new research evidence, in 2015 the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended initiation of ART for all people living with HIV (PLHIV), irrespective of their clinical staging and CD4 cell count. The National AIDS Control Programme (NACP) in India is currently following the 2010 WHO ART guidelines for adults and the 2013 guidelines for pregnant women and children. This desk study assessed the number of people living with HIV who will additionally be eligible for ART on adoption of the 2015 WHO recommendations on ART. Data routinely recorded for all PLHIV registered under the NACP up to 31 December 2015 were analysed. Of the 250 865 individuals recorded in pre-ART care, an estimated 135 593 would be eligible under the WHO 2013 guidelines. A further 100 221 would be eligible under the WHO 2015 guidelines. Initiating treatment for all PLHIV in pre-ART care would raise the number on ART from 0.92 million to 1.17 million. In addition, nearly 0.07 million newly registered PLHIV will become eligible every year if the WHO 2015 guidelines are adopted, of which 0.028 million would be attributable to implementation of the WHO 2013 guidelines alone. In addition to drugs, there will be a need for additional CD4 tests and tests of viral load, as the numbers on ART will increase significantly. The outlay should be seen in the context of potential health-care savings due to early initiation of ART, in terms of the effect on disease progression, complications, deaths and new infections. While desirable, adoption of the new guidance will have significant programmatic and resource implications for India. The programme needs to plan and strengthen the service-delivery mechanism, with emphasis on newer and innovative approaches before implementation of these guidelines.
Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine. 2016; 17(1): p.Background: The World Health Organization (WHO) HIV treatment guidelines have been used by various countries to revise their national guidelines. Our study discusses the national policy response to the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa and quantifies delays in adopting the WHO guidelines published in 2009, 2013 and 2015. Methods: From the Internet, health authorities and experts, and community members, we collected 59 published HIV guidelines from 33 countries in the sub-Saharan African region, and abstracted dates of publication and antiretroviral therapy (ART) eligibility criteria. For these 33 countries, representing 97% regional HIV burden in 2015, the number of months taken to adopt the WHO 2009, 2013 and/or 2015 guidelines were calculated to determine the average delay in months needed to publish revised national guidelines. Findings: Of the 33 countries, 3 (6% regional burden) are recommending ART according to the WHO 2015 guidelines (irrespective of CD4 count); 19 (65% regional burden) are recommending ART according to the WHO 2013 guidelines (CD4 count = 500 cells/mm3); and 11 (26% regional burden) according to the WHO 2009 guidelines (CD4 count = 350 cells/mm3). The average time lag to WHO 2009 guidelines adoption in 33 countries was 24 (range 3–56) months. The 22 that have adopted the WHO 2013 guidelines took an average of 10 (range 0–36) months, whilst the three countries that adopted the WHO 2015 guidelines took an average of 8 (range 7–9) months. Conclusion: There is an urgent need to shorten the time lag in adopting and implementing the new WHO guidelines recommending ‘treatment for all’ to achieve the 90-90-90 targets.
Implementation and Operational Research: Implementation of the WHO 2011 Recommendations for Isoniazid Preventive Therapy (IPT) in Children Living With HIV/AIDS: A Ugandan Experience.
Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. 2016 Jan 1; 71(1):e1-8.BACKGROUND: Intensified tuberculosis (TB) case finding and isoniazid preventive therapy (IPT) are strongly recommended for children who are HIV infected. Data are needed to assess the feasibility of the WHO 2011 intensified tuberculosis case finding/IPT clinical algorithm. METHODS: Children who are HIV infected and attending Nsambya Home Care at Nsambya Hospital, Uganda, were screened for TB following WHO recommendations. IPT was given for 6 months after excluding TB. Factors associated with time to IPT initiation were investigated by multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression. Health care workers were interviewed on reasons for delay in IPT initiation. RESULTS: Among the 899 (49% male) children with HIV, 529 (58.8%) were screened for TB from January 2011 to February 2013. Children with active TB were 36/529 (6.8%), 24 (4.5%) were lost to follow-ups and 280 (52.9%) started IPT, 86/280 (30.7%) within 3 months of TB screening and 194/280 (69.3%) thereafter. Among the 529 children screened for TB, longer time to IPT initiation was independently associated with cough at TB screening (hazard ratio 0.62, P = 0.02, 95% confidence interval: 0.41 to 0.94). Four children (1% of those starting treatments) interrupted IPT because of a 5-fold increase in liver function measurements. In the survey, Health care workers reported poor adherence to antiretroviral therapy, poor attendance to periodic HIV follow-ups, and pill burden as the 3 main reasons to delay IPT. CONCLUSION: In resource-constrained settings, considerable delays in IPT initiation may occur, particularly in children with HIV who are presenting with cough at TB screening. The good safety profile of isoniazid in antiretroviral-therapy-experienced children provides further support to IPT implementation in this population.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2015 Sep.  p. (Guidelines)This early-release guideline makes available two key recommendations that were developed during the revision process in 2015. First, antiretroviral therapy (ART) should be initiated in everyone living with HIV at any CD4 cell count. Second, the use of daily oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is recommended as a prevention choice for people at substantial risk of HIV infection as part of combination prevention approaches. The first of these recommendations is based on evidence from clinical trials and observational studies released since 2013 showing that earlier use of ART results in better clinical outcomes for people living with HIV compared with delayed treatment. The second recommendation is based on clinical trial results confirming the efficacy of the ARV drug tenofovir for use as PrEP to prevent people from acquiring HIV in a wide variety of settings and populations. The recommendations in this guideline will form part of the revised consolidated guidelines on the use of ARV drugs for treating and preventing HIV infection to be published by WHO in 2016. The full update of the guidelines will consist of comprehensive clinical recommendations together with revised operational and service delivery guidance to support implementation.
Barriers to implementing WHO's exclusive breastfeeding policy for women living with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa: an exploration of ideas, interests and institutions.
International Journal of Health Planning and Management. 2013 Jul-Sep; 28(3):257-68.The vertical transmission of HIV occurs when an HIV-positive woman passes the virus to her baby during pregnancy, delivery or breastfeeding. The World Health Organization's (WHO) Guidelines on HIV and infant feeding 2010 recommends exclusive breastfeeding for HIV-positive mothers in resource-limited settings. Although evidence shows that following this strategy will dramatically reduce vertical transmission of HIV, full implementation of the WHO Guidelines has been severely limited in sub-Saharan Africa. This paper provides an analysis of the role of ideas, interests and institutions in establishing barriers to the effective implementation of these guidelines by reviewing efforts to implement prevention of vertical transmission programs in various sub-Saharan countries. Findings suggest that WHO Guidelines on preventing vertical transmission of HIV through exclusive breastfeeding in resource-limited settings are not being translated into action by governments and front-line workers because of a variety of structural and ideological barriers. Identifying and understanding the role played by ideas, interests and institutions is essential to overcoming barriers to guideline implementation. Copyright (c) 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Paris, France, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization [UNESCO], 2012. 158 p.The education sector has a significant role to play in the response to HIV and AIDS. The sector can help to prevent the spread of HIV through education, and, in countries that are highly affected by HIV, by taking steps to protect itself from the effects of the epidemic. It can also make a significant contribution by supporting health improvement more generally and by helping to improve the sexual and reproductive health of young people in particular.This framework is designed to help those working in the education sector at a national level to understand the need for a robust response to HIV and AIDS in order to achieve Education for All (EFA) and the education-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The document also highlights the education sector’s role in contributing to universal access to HIV and AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support.
Towards universal access by 2010. How WHO is working with countries to scale-up HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, Department of HIV / AIDS, 2006. 32 p.In 2005, leaders of the G8 countries agreed to «work with WHO, UNAIDS and other international bodies to develop and implement a package for HIV prevention, treatment and care, with the aim of as close as possible to universal access to treatment for all those who need it by 2010». This goal was endorsed by United Nations Member States at the High-Level Plenary Meeting of the 60th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2005. At the June 2006 General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS, United Nations Member States agreed to work towards the broad goal of "universal access to comprehensive prevention programmes, treatment, care and support" by 2010. Working towards universal access is a very ambitious challenge for the international community, and will require the commitment and involvement of all stakeholders, including governments, donors, international agencies, researchers and affected communities. Among the most important priorities is the strengthening of health services so that they are able to provide a comprehensive range of HIV/AIDS services to all those who need them. This document describes the contribution that the World Health Organization (WHO) will make, as the United Nations agency responsible for health, in working towards universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support in the period 2006-2010. It proposes an evidence-based Model Essential Package of integrated health sector interventions for HIV/AIDS that WHO recommends be scaled up in countries, using a public health approach, and provides an overview of the strategic directions and priority intervention areas that will guide WHO's technical work and support to its Member States as they work towards universal access over the next four years. (excerpt)
UNICEF and WHO call for stronger support for the implementation of the joint United Nations HIV and infant feeding framework.
Geneva, Switzerland, WHO, 2004 Dec 22.  p.The HIV epidemic continues to threaten and reverse child survival and development gains of the past decades. In 2004 alone, an estimated 640,000 and 510,000 children acquired HIV and died of AIDS, respectively. For high prevalence countries the impact of HIV infection on child survival is enormous. Estimates for 1999 of under five mortality rates attributable to HIV infection by Walker and colleagues for five highly burdened countries in Africa were over 30 per 1000 live births; Botswana (57.7); Zimbabwe (42.2); Swaziland (40.6); Namibia (36.5); and Zambia (33.6).1 The vast majority of children acquire HIV infection from their HIV-infected mothers during pregnancy, delivery or breastfeeding. In the absence of any interventions, 5-20% of infants born to HIV-infected women will be infected through breastfeeding. These women face the dilemma of choosing the right infant feeding option in trying to prevent HIV transmission to their infants while not exposing them to the risk of malnutrition and other illnesses due to not breastfeeding. (excerpt)
Implementing GIPA: how USAID missions and their implementing partners in five Asian countries are fostering greater involvement of people living with HIV / AIDS.
Washington, D.C., Futures Group International, POLICY Project, 2004 Jan.  p. (USAID Contract No. HRN-C-00-00-00006-00)On behalf of the Asia/Near East Bureau (ANE) of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the POLICY Project undertook an assessment of how the Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS (GIPA) Principle is being implemented in the ANE region. Five USAID Missions and 12 implementing agencies (IAs) in the region participated in the assessment, which was undertaken in May and June 2003 in Cambodia, India, Nepal, Philippines, and Viet Nam. The purpose of the assessment was to ascertain how Missions, IAs, and NGOs are incorporating GIPA principles into their organizations and into the programmatic work they support and implement. A self-administered questionnaire was completed by 23 respondents from Missions, IAs, and NGOs. The assessment found a high level of awareness of GIPA and a commitment by most organizations to foster and promote GIPA principles, within their organizations and in the work they carry out. Ninety-one percent of respondents from the three types of organizations believe that their organizations’ planning, programs, and policymaking activities are or would be enhanced by GIPA. (excerpt)
Progress towards implementation of the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS. Report of the Secretary-General.
New York, New York, United Nations, General Assembly, 2003 Jul 25. 21 p. (A/58/184)The present report is submitted pursuant to paragraph 100 of the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS (General Assembly resolution S-26/2, annex), adopted by the Assembly at its special session on the human immunodeficiency virus/ acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) on 27 June 2001. The year 2003 is especially significant since it is the year in which the first of the time-bound targets set out in the Declaration of Commitment fall due. The majority targets in 2003 pertain to the establishment of an enabling policy environment, which set the stage for the programme and impact targets of 2005 and 2010. The report is based primarily on responses provided by 100 Member States on 18 global and national indicators developed by the Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS to measure progress towards implementation of the Declaration. The regional breakdown of States that responded is as follows: sub-Saharan Africa — 29; Asia and the Pacific — 15; Latin America and the Caribbean — 21; Eastern Europe and Central Asia — 13; North Africa and the Middle East — 8; high-income countries — 14. Virtually all heavily affected countries provided information relating to policy issues addressed by the indicators. The activities cited in the report are intended to be illustrative and not a comprehensive listing of all activities that have been undertaken in order to implement the Declaration. (excerpt)