2018 Brought Us the Closest We’ve Ever Been to HIV Epidemic Control

January 7th, 2019 | Viewpoint


This post was originally published on Medium.com

For the first time, epidemic control for HIV is in reach for many countries.

In 2018, JSI’s teams worked tirelessly to stop the spread of HIV and help millions who are infected live healthy, productive lives. From training community health workers on appropriate care in the United States to building new clinics for testing and treatment in rural Zambia, check out the moments that defined another year partnering with local communities, organizations, and governments in pursuit of a world free from new HIV infections.

ZambiaThrough the USAID DISCOVER-Health Project, JSI brought HIV services closer to underserved people in Zambia by building 35 prefabricated clinics to decongest government run health facilities, reduce patient travel time, and improve quality of care in areas that are critical for HIV epidemic control, but are often under served.  

A health care worker wears PPE while handling sterile medical instruments.Photo Credit – AIDSFree

Global – Voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) programs increase men’s opportunities to seek health care—most importantly, HIV testing services. AIDSFree scaled up VMMC for HIV prevention in 2018 by harnessing technology to expand the reach of HIV interventions, developing new interactive tools and resources, and providing technical assistance on adopting WHO-recognized surgical and non-surgical techniques.

Screen shot from an HIV animated video.Screenshot from an animated HIV video of two adults taking PrEP.

Guyana – Through Advancing Partners and Communities, JSI reduced HIV transmission in Guyana by creating and promoting animated public service announcements on HIV testing  and treatment adherence that are designed to entertain while providing life-changing information for long-term health and behavior change.

A healthcare worker advises a client about medical services.Photo Credit: Mali Kambandu

ZambiaUnder the USAID SAFE Project, JSI helped Zambia get even closer to reaching 95/95/95 by using targeted, high yield testing strategies like index testing and partner notification. In just the first program year, the Project tested 825,588 people for HIV, and immediately enrolled the 45,822 who tested positive on treatment.

A female healthcare worker in Uganda gets ready to withdraw blood from a male patient.Photo Credit: USAID RHITES-N, Lango

Uganda Using high yield HIV strategies,  including index texting, assisted partner notification, and peer linkage facilitators at the community and facility levels, USAID RHITES-N, Lango linked 19,171 people to care and treatment in the Lango sub-region, where HIV prevalence is higher than the national average, in its first year of project implementation.

Close up of blue pills.Photo Credit: NIAID

MozambiqueBeginning in June 2018, AIDSFree provided technical assistance to the Ministry of Health (MOH) of Mozambique for developing social and behavior change communication materials to raise awareness, create demand, and provide counseling for target populations around pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) to support the country’s national roll out of PrEP and scale-up of index testing.

A group of Ugandan healthcare workers wearing maroon polos.Photo Credit – Erick Gibson

TanzaniaBy training and empowering community and local government groups to take part in the HIV response (such as community case workers as seen in the photo above) in Tanzania, more than 1 million people have been tested for HIV (and more than 90% of those who tested positive started treatment) AND more than 730,000 vulnerable children have been linked to services (including testing) as part of the Tanzania Community Health and Social Welfare Systems Strengthening Program (CHSSP).

A group of community health care workers in Tanzania standing in front of the CHSSP office building.

USA – Community health workers (CHWs) can be the first point of care for people living with HIV. Through CBA@JSI, we offer training and resources on how CHWs may provide culturally and linguistically appropriate services to help clients negotiate the health care system and improve linkage to and retention in HIV care in the United States.

A group of healthcare workers in Ethiopia walk into an urban house.Photo Credit: Shehzad Noorani

Ethiopia – Through quality improvement initiatives at health centers and capacity building support for urban health extension professionals, Strengthening Ethiopia’s Urban Health Program (SEUHP) worked to ensure facilities and health workers are equipped to provide HIV testing and counseling services in their communities.

A man and his son stand outside a health care center.Photo Credit – AIDSFree

Tanzania / ZanzibarJSI/AIDSFree’s Strengthening Police and Prison Comprehensive HIV Services (SPPCHS) activities address the need to provide priority populations—prisoners and prison staff as well as their families  and the surrounding communities —with comprehensive health care in Tanzania and Zanzibar. At the end of 2018, more than three-fourths (77%, 2,943) of clients who had started treatment at the beginning of the year had been retained.

A group of icons reading health information systems, data services, mobile solutions, channeling content, technology for logistics, building blocks.Photo Credit: Joshua Yospyn

Guyana JSI’s Advancing Partners & Communities Project helped build the capacity of local organizations like the Guyana Trans United (GTU), (pictured above) to build their resilience and ability to provide members of key populations with high quality HIV services.

A JSI staff member presents on our HIV work at a conference.Photo Credit: USAID Strengthening the Care Continuum Project

GhanaBuilding on a network of local civil society organizations, JSI led the USAID Strengthening the Care Continuum Project in working closely with peer educators, legal advocates, and government officials to bolster Ghana’s system for reporting and prosecuting sexual and gender-based violence targeted towards members of key populations, who are disproportionately affected by HIV.

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