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The Race to End AIDS and COVID-19: How edutainment and a rallying call to run for a cause boosted HIV prevention and COVID-19 vaccination uptake in Zambia

In Zambia, girls and young women ages 15–24 and men ages 20–34 years are among the most vulnerable to HIV (ZAMPHIA 2019). COVID-19 has decreased access to HIV testing and treatment services (Ministry Of Health [MOH], Jan 2022). In response, the USAID ZAM-Health and DISCOVER-Health projects, implemented by JSH and JSI respectively, in collaboration with…

Harnessing influence: Accelerating COVID-19 vaccination in Zambia through engagement and involvement of local leaders

Following global trends, Zambia anticipated a fourth COVID-19 wave in December 2021. As of November 2021, only 12.5% of the eligible population were fully vaccinated, and 4.6% had received their first dose. To get more people vaccinated and help protect against severe forms of COVID-19 and the associated mortality, the Ministry of Health (MOH) launched…

Increasing demand for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among pregnant and breastfeeding women to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission in three USAID SAFE-supported provinces in Zambia

The USAID Supporting an AIDS-Free Era (SAFE) program supports the Ministry of Health (MOH)’s HIV program by providing clients who have been exposed to HIV with pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent transmission and target HIV-negative PBFW, among people at high risk. PrEP for PBFW has slowly been provided in USAID SAFE facilities and surrounding communities….

Improving viral load suppression rate among pediatrics on antiretroviral therapy in Central Province, Zambia

The HIV viral load suppression rate in USAID Supporting an AIDS Free Era (SAFE)-supportedZambian facilities differs by age. Children below 15 years have a lower suppression rate than adults, attributed to health facility-related factors such as suboptimal regimens, drug under-dosing, and underlying infections. Client-related factors include poor drug storage, missing dosages, under-dosing, and lack of…

Six-month antiretroviral dispensing and other comprehensive, person-centered HIV care to increase service efficiency, client convenience, and risk of COVID-19 infection in three provinces in Zambia

The reduction of COVID-19 transmission among people living with HIV (PLHIV) remained a concern throughout the pandemic. The USAID Supporting an AIDS Free Era (SAFE) program, which operates in three provinces and supports 302 health facilities, and the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Zambia applied various person-centered approaches to reduce clinic visit burden and risk…

Improved Access to Cervical Cancer Screening and Treatment for Women Living with HIV in Central Zambia

USAID SAFE increased cervical cancer screening and treatment through two main strategies: enhanced screening and treatment of precancerous lesions through outreach activities in hard-to-reach and hardly reached facilities, and enhanced support for the same-day treatment of precancerous lesions. This included training and mentoring service providers in visual inspection with acetic acid and loop electro-surgical excision….

Using Programmatic Data to Assess Pediatric Service Coverage and HIV Treatment Cascades in Western Region, Ghana

The USAID Strengthening the Care Continuum project, implemented by JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc., reviewed program data of pediatric patients on ART from January 2019 to December 2021. This included those tested for HIV, positivity rates, and linkage to treatment; ART facilities and those offering pediatric services; patients who received viral load results; and…

Implementing Safe and Ethical Index Testing Services: Adapting Provider Referral Contact Tracing Method to Suit Client and Provider Needs in the Western Region of Ghana

The USAID Strengthening the Care Continuum Project, implemented by JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc., trained health care providers from 43 facilities in the Western Region of Ghana to support clients to notify and contact their sexual partners and biological children under 19 years of age to test for HIV. Index testing, or tracing the…

A Qualitative Comparative Analysis of the Reasons for Interruption in Care of People Living with HIV in Ghana

This cross-sectional exploratory qualitative research study was conducted by the USAID Strengthening the Care Continuum (CareContinuum) project, implemented by JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. The project looked at supported antiretroviral therapy sites in Ghana’s Western and Western North. From October to December 2020, 10 health care staff, 10 clients who had interrupted care, and…

The Positive Impact of Multi-Month Dispensing of ARVs of Client Treatment Continuity

Treatment continuity is essential to controlling the AIDS epidemic and spread of HIV. By using multi-month dispensing (MMD) of antiretrovirals (ARVs) at health facilities, barriers to care and treatment for both patients and providers can be reduced. Ghana adopted MMD in October 2019 and continued to scale it up, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The…

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