News @ JSI


November 30, 2017

JSI is pleased to announce its role as lead implementing partner for the USAID/PEPFAR SAFE: Supporting an AIDS-Free Era program. The five-year, USAID-funded initiative directly supports the Government of Zambia’s (GRZ) long-term vision of becoming a nation free from the threat of HIV and AIDS by 2030 by working to reduce HIV mortality, morbidity, and transmission, while improving nutrition outcomes and family planning integration in three provinces: Central, Copperbelt, and North-Western.

Zambia has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world; 11.3% of persons aged 15–59 years are infected with HIV. Yet, the country continues to make great strides in decreasing infection and mortality rates associated with HIV. Currently, 85.4% of people living with HIV are on treatment, according to the 2016 Zambia Population Based HIV Impact Assessment.

“Achieving HIV epidemic control is a journey and the USAID/PEPFAR SAFE program is the right vehicle to help Zambia get there,” said Dr. Michael Chanda, Deputy Chief of Party for USAID/PEPFAR SAFE.

The USAID/PEPFAR SAFE program will work with the GRZ and civil society at the national, provincial, and district levels to increase access to ART for HIV-positive adults and children, reduce the incidence of new infections, improve nutrition assessment, counselling, and support (NACS) and family planning services, and increase the capacity of local health institutions to serve affected populations. The program is unique in its intentional integration of family planning and nutrition programming within HIV services, as well as its strong focus on improving the GRZ’s capacity to manage public health programs.

The program will measure success at the end of five years by having:

  • Reached 80% of eligible HIV-positive adults and children with antiretroviral treatment across SAFE districts.
  • Reduced HIV-related deaths by 50%.
  • Improved the quality of life for HIV-infected people by maintaining viral suppression for 90 percent of beneficiaries on HIV treatment.
  • Lowered the incidence of new HIV infections by 50%.
  • Reached 90% of the HIV-positive adults and children with NACS.
  • Reduced wasting by 50% among HIV-positive adults and children.
USAID/PEPFAR SAFE will be implemented in partnership with Abt Associates, mothers2mothers, and the Catholic Medical Mission Board.

“JSI has had the great privilege to be part of Zambia's ambitious HIV response since the 1990s,” says Andrew Fullem, the director of the HIV and Infectious Diseases Center at JSI. “Today, as the country moves toward epidemic control, we're working hand in hand with our government partners, communities, and health facilities to bring new ways of providing services for those at greatest risk—adolescent girls and young women and men in their 20s and 30s.”

USAID/PEPFAR SAFE complements ongoing JSI HIV work in Zambia under the USAID DISCOVER-Health project, which uses a total market approach to maximize the relative strengths of the public and private (commercial and non-commercial) sectors to deliver HIV, MNCH, and FP health products and services that reach all beneficiaries and consumer markets.

“The two projects have complementary HIV treatment mandates that will help Zambia, through USAID, to achieve HIV epidemic control in the Central, Copperbelt, and North-Western provinces,” said Dr. Muka Chikuba-McLeod, project director for USAID DISCOVER-Health. “Under the overall leadership of the Ministry of Health, the two projects will leverage each other’s strengths, create synergies, and form teams that will drive collaborative efforts toward this common goal.”