ViiV Healthcare Commits £3.4M in Positive Action for Children Fund Grants for Programmes Focused on Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV
ViiV Healthcare announced today that it has awarded £3.4 million to 17 projects in 12 countries through its Positive Action for Children Fund (PACF). Sixteen of the recipients are new grantees, and one is a current grantee who will receive renewed funding. In keeping with PACF’s mission to improve the health and well-being of women, children and families affected by HIV, collectively the programme has now awarded approximately £20 million since 2010 in support of 140 grantees working to alleviate the burden of HIV on women and children in those communities where the need is the greatest.
Examples of the new grants include:
- Cameroon Association for the Protection of and Education of the Child (CAPEC) / “Improving Community-Driven Support Systems for Total Prevention of HIV Infection for Children, Women and Persons Living With HIV”: This project in the Meme (Southwest) region of Cameroon aims to alleviate the impact of HIV on women’s and children’s health through interventions that engage and build the capacity of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and affected communities to participate and lead.
- Egyptian Youth Association for Health Development / “Egyptian Women Leading the Change”: A three-year project designed to target at-risk women in Egypt through peer education and support, increased access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, and increased advocacy on gender issues.
- Fundación Mexicana para la Planeación Familiar A.C. / “Actions for the Prevention and Early Detection of HIV/AIDS Among Women (and their Partners) from Rural Communities in the Mountain of Tlapa, State of Guerrero”: An initiative to improve sexual and reproductive health among rural and indigenous women and their partners through a mix of community partnerships with political leaders and health and education authorities, education and training for medical services personnel, and SRH services and education for at-risk populations.
- Physicians for Social Justice / “Strengthening Capacity of Communities for Sustained Delivery of Integrated HIV and SRH Services”: A project in Northern Central Nigeria that will provide targeted community-based HIV prevention services to women and girls using the Minimum-Prevention Package of Intervention (MPPI) strategy. Specifically, the project will train women living with HIV and community health workers to provide prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) and quality family-planning services and strengthen engagement of people living with HIV in advocacy.
- TackleAfrica / “HIV & SRH Education for Girls through Football in Kilifi”: Based on community insights about specific barriers to PMTCT, this project will design a tailored curriculum to address them. Members of the community – already acting as coaches and youth leaders within local partner Moving the Goalposts Kilifi (MTGK)'s football/empowerment programme – will be trained and supported to deliver regular HIV and SRH education through football coaching to young women and girls in Kilifi, a rural area on the east coast of Kenya.
- Women and Children First (UK) / “Addressing Loss to Follow up in PMTCT in the Community and Preventing Unintended Pregnancies in Kasungu District, Malawi”: In collaboration with the local organisation MaiKhanda, this project aims to address loss to follow up in PMTCT in the community and prevent unintended pregnancies through raising awareness, bridging the divide between the community and providers of PMTCT and SRH services, and increasing community capacity to advocate for these services.
“The Positive Action for Children Fund is an integral part of our commitment to working with partners across the globe to help alleviate the impact of HIV and AIDS on women and children,” said Dr Dominique Limet, CEO of ViiV Healthcare. “Over the course of the three plus years since the programme has been in place, we’ve witnessed first-hand how grassroots interventions can effectively engage affected communities – reaching over 1.2 million people directly; reduce new infections; and, improve access to PMTCT services. We are proud to forge new partnerships with community-focused organisations to build on the successes achieved through the programme thus far and further support and inform the global effort to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV.”
AIDS has become a leading cause of illness and death among women of reproductive age in countries with a high burden of HIV infection. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 3.4 million children were living with HIV at the end of 2011, 91% of them in sub-Saharan Africa, most of whom acquired the infection through mother-to-child transmission during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding. Though the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HIV can be reduced to 2% with effective interventions, such interventions are not widely accessible or available in most resource-limited countries where the burden of HIV is highest.[i] Moreover, children living with HIV continue to experience persistent treatment gaps. In 2012, global HIV treatment coverage for children remained half of coverage for adults (34% vs. 65%). In priority countries, only three in 10 children receive HIV treatment.[ii]
“Addressing gaps in access to care and services for women and children affected by or at risk for HIV remains a timely and pressing need, particularly in the countries with the highest HIV prevalence. PACF works to address that need by engaging affected communities, and, importantly, by ensuring those communities can themselves deliver sustainable and effective interventions. It’s both gratifying and encouraging to support new projects designed to accomplish those goals,” said Professor Catherine Peckham, PACF Board Chair.
The next call for proposals for the Positive Action for Children Fund will be announced by the end of 2013. ViiV Healthcare aims to continue to invest in programmes at similar levels to provide ongoing support of the UNAIDS Global Plan Toward the Elimination of New HIV Infections Among Children by 2015 and Keeping Their Mothers Alive, with a goal of committing close to £30 million by 2015. Candidates may register their interest by emailing email@example.com to receive a notification once the information is made available.
Please visit http://www.viivhealthcare.com/community-partnerships/positive-action-for-children-fund/our-grantees.aspx to find a complete list of 2013 grantees and to learn more about the Positive Action for Children Fund. To read more about how current PACF grantees are making an impact in the communities they serve, please visit http://www.viivhealthcare.com/community-partnerships/the-viiv-healthcare-effect.aspx.
About the Positive Action for Children Fund
The Positive Action for Children Fund was first announced in July 2009 and builds upon the foundation of the long-standing Positive Action programme, established in 1992. With an emphasis on community engagement, ViiV Healthcare’s Positive Action programme will continue to support global efforts to address the challenges of HIV prevention, tackling stigma and discrimination, building capacity and treatment literacy.
Following extensive consultations with some of the sector’s leading non-governmental organisations, practitioners and policy-makers in this field, the Fund focuses on grants that pursue the four elements of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) strategic vision and comprehensive approach for addressing the mother-to-child transmission of HIV, under these four headings:
- Increasing and improving primary prevention of HIV infection among women of childbearing age.
- Delivering proper and equitable reproductive choices for people living with HIV/AIDS.
- Interventions that prevent HIV transmission from a woman living with HIV to her infant.
- Improving the health and welfare of mothers living with HIV, their children and families by providing appropriate treatment, care and support.
A key focus of the Positive Action for Children Fund is to stimulate grassroots community action to deliver and support interventions, to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT), to bring us one step closer to eliminating the vertical transmission of HIV. Such work is closely aligned with the World Health Organization’s vision for addressing mother-to-child transmission of HIV and works toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals set to reduce child mortality, improve maternal health and combat the spread of HIV.
About ViiV Healthcare
ViiV Healthcare is a global specialist HIV company established in November 2009 by GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) dedicated to delivering advances in treatment and care for people living with HIV. Shionogi joined as a 10% shareholder in October 2012. The company’s aim is to take a deeper and broader interest in HIV/AIDS than any company has done before and take a new approach to deliver effective and new HIV medicines, as well as support communities affected by HIV. For more information on the company, its management, portfolio, pipeline and commitment, please visit www.viivhealthcare.com.
[ii] “Global Report: UNAIDS Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic 2013.” UNAIDS, 2013. Web. 17 Oct 2013.
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