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Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation Releases Toolkit for Implementing New WHO Recommendations on PMTCT and ARV Treatment

Saturday, July 24, 2010 AIDS/HIV News J E 4
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VIENNA, July 23 At the XVIII International AIDS Conference, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation has issued the first of a series of three linked toolkits to facilitate the adaptation and implementation of the revised World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations for four technical areas: antiretroviral drugs for treating pregnant women and preventing HIV infection in infants, infant feeding in the context of HIV, and antiretroviral treatment for children, adolescents, and adults.

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The toolkit, available at http://www.pedaids.org/WHO_toolkit, will assist technical partners and Ministries of Health to understand the recommendations, support their adaptation into national HIV guidelines, and plan for their implementation.

"The WHO guidelines represent an important advance in reducing new HIV infections in infants, as well as improving care and treatment for children and adults living with the virus," said Dr. Christian Pitter, the Foundation's Director of Global Technical Policy. "It is our hope that these toolkits will help speed the implementation of the recommendations worldwide, and bring us closer to our goal of eliminating pediatric HIV and AIDS."

This important resource was introduced at a session sponsored by Johnson & Johnson at the AIDS 2010 conference in Vienna, titled, "Making it Happen: Revising National Policies to Reflect Changes in WHO Recommendations for Preventing Vertical Transmission of HIV."

A panel discussion made up of Ministry of Health leadership from three countries, the WHO, and global experts reviewed the justifications for the revised WHO recommendations concerning prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT), discussed common themes around adaptation and implementation processes, and highlighted the work of governments to revise and implement national policies.

Speakers included Nathan Shaffer, PMTCT Team Leader of the WHO's HIV Department; Christian Pitter, with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation; Tsitsi Mutasa-Apollo, Coordinator of HIV Treatment for Zimbabwe's Ministry of Health; Nicholas Muraguri, Head of Kenya's National AIDS and STI Control Program in Kenya; and Erik Schouten, from the Department of HIV and AIDS of Malawi's Ministry of Health.

Presentations from the session are available at: http://www.pedaids.org/getdoc/50e26e86-a85d-4ccd-9d1f-6b31e61874d9/-AIDS-2010--XVIII-International-AIDS-Conference.

The Foundation has also produced one of the first publications to explore the implications of the revised guidelines from an implementation perspective, and has compiled actual country experiences adapting the guidelines, including from its country programs in Kenya, Malawi, and South Africa, available at: http://pedaids.org/Publications/Financial---Annual-Reports/Haba_Na_Haba_July2010.

Phase 1 of the tool kit, "Understanding the Revised WHO Recommendations and Supporting Their Adaptation Into National Guidelines," will be followed soon after by Phase 2, "Planning for Program, District, and Facility-Level Implementation of the Revised WHO Guidelines," and Phase 3, "Measuring Impact and Implementation of the Revised WHO Guidelines."

About the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation

The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation is a global leader in the fight against pediatric HIV and AIDS, working in 17 countries to implement prevention, care, and treatment; to further advance innovative research; and to execute strategic and targeted global advocacy activities to bring dramatic change to the lives of millions of women, children, and families worldwide.

SOURCE Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation
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