Office of HIV/AIDS Blog

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As a key implementer of PEPFAR, the Office of HIV/AIDS (OHA) leads USAID’s efforts to control the HIV/AIDS epidemic, working in close collaboration with Missions and other bureaus within the Agency. OHA’s mandate is to provide both technical support to the field and technical leadership within USAID, PEPFAR, and the global HIV/AIDS community. The OHA blog tells the story of how USAID demonstrates its leadership in advancing HIV epidemic control and sustainability, supporting country-led efforts for long-term sustainability and results, and applying science, technology, and innovation to support the implementation of cost-effective, cutting-edge, sustainable, and appropriately integrated HIV/AIDS interventions at scale.


 Advocates, ring researchers, and a PrEP ring user gathered in Lusaka, Zambia for an advocacy workshop in May 2021 to strategize and plan for ring introduction in the country.

Cross-country Learning Builds Momentum for a New HIV Prevention Product

Dapivirine vaginal ring (“PrEP ring”) advocates, Microbicide Trials Network (MTN) ring researchers, and a PrEP ring user convened at a May 2021 advocacy event in Lusaka, Zambia to share cross-country learnings and insights for introducing the PrEP ring as part of HIV prevention programming.

 
Illustration of market segmentation depicts HIV care and treatment icons, such as laboratory testing for viral load, access to antiretroviral drugs, and other forms of care at facilities. Image by Denise Todloski, Data.FI Project.

Launching an Innovative Data Methods Challenge!

We’re excited to announce that in partnership with data and analytics experts from the Data for Implementation (Data.FI) project, the Office of HIV/AIDS is launching a challenge to uncover innovative ways to identify novel consumer demographic data sources and approaches to market segmentation.

 

Advancing Gender Equality and Preventing & Responding to Gender-Based Violence to Achieve Sustained HIV Epidemic Control

When women receive inadequate or unequal access to health care, or when they are the victims of gender-based violence, they do not have the opportunity to understand their health or even make decisions about their health. Gender inequality and gender-based violence (GBV) are some of the most critical barriers to ending the HIV epidemic, which includes ensuring 95 percent of people living with HIV (PLHIV) know their HIV status, 95 percent of PLHIV who know their status are on antiretroviral therapy (ART), and 95 percent of PLHIV on ART are virally suppressed and therefore can’t transmit the virus.

 
Tebelopele Wellness Centers Executive Director, Marlene Nkete, meets with U.S. Ambassador to Botswana, Craig Cloud.

USAID/Botswana’s Local Partner Transition: “Paramount to the country’s health agenda”

The transition to fund more local organizations is crucial for building long-term program impact and sustainability, is cost efficient, and is pivotal to reaching sustained HIV epidemic control. In 2018, former Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador, Deborah Birx, announced a goal to direct 70 percent of PEPFAR funding to local partners through direct awards by September 30, 2021. To achieve this goal, PEPFAR and USAID have steadily increased the delivery of HIV prevention, care, and treatment services by local partners and partner country governments. To date, USAID/PEPFAR has transitioned nearly $750 million (49%) of its annual budget to over 170 local organizations around the world.

 

In Their Own Words: Four of Nigeria’s Health Care Heroes Re-live a Year of COVID-19 Care

Through USAID support, these health care workers showcase how beyond every COVID-19 infection there is a life working to save lives. They represent the dedication health workers have shown over the past year, placing themselves at risk to keep their communities and families safe and to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Their stories are evidence of how important investing in health workers is during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

 
A Right to Care healthcare worker delivers a presentation in South Africa

Supporting Health Care Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Experience From the Frontlines in Continuing HIV Service Provision

All over the world, health workers have demonstrated their dedication to maintaining HIV services while combating COVID-19, seeking innovative means of continuing to support clients -- from the expansion of programs that give patients three to six months’ worth of antiretroviral therapy (ART), and creating more convenient options for drug pick-up, to the use of telehealth and virtual services to support prevention and support clients in continuing their treatment. For all these innovations, the health workforce has led the charge for safely maintaining access and reach to different HIV client populations.

 
Matshediso Mohoje is a social worker with USAID’s Government Capacity Building Support OVC program

A Walk in my Shoes: A Social Worker in South Africa Makes a Difference for Children Vulnerable to HIV

On this World Social Work Day (March 16), and during the Year of the Health and Care Worker, USAID’s Office of HIV/AIDS celebrates the brave men and women like Matshediso who dedicate their lives to helping others. Across the globe, thousands of social workers serve children and families through the OVC program, funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Social workers are an invaluable part of the work that is done by USAID’s OVC programs. Comprehensive case management program staff support children and families affected and infected by HIV by providing services in the areas of health, safety, stability, and schooling. Social workers wear many hats including: advocate, case manager, counselor, navigator, educator, and mentor. They engage in assessments, case planning, services delivery/referrals, and act as a constant support for families and communities.

 
AGYW DREAMS beneficiaries gathering outside for a meeting at a mobile Safe Space meeting in Kanyakwar village in Kisumu, Kenya, with universal masking and physical distancing observed during the meeting.

The Importance of Choice: HIV Prevention for Women

Over the last 20 years, the world has made exceptional progress in offering comprehensive HIV prevention services. From innovative approaches to making condoms accessible, to increasing coverage of treatment regimens and increasing the provision of oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to those at substantial risk, the global health community has helped turn the tide on HIV. Such programming has resulted in reduced incidence and prevalence among vulnerable populations.

 
Data.FI organized a training of trainers workshop on the new functionalities and use of upgraded OVC and DREAMS databases in Cote d’Ivoire. Participants came from social centers, the National OVC Program, and a PEPFAR implementing partner.

Using Data to Improve HIV Cascade Outcomes

In 2019, Data.FI ― a PEPFAR-supported, USAID-managed global consortium ― developed an Epidemic Control Room (ECR) model in Nigeria, sparked by the need to improve the use of high-frequency data and build on PEPFAR successes in actionable data reviews, such as root cause analyses.

 
Aynete Afa and daughter Mignot Abebe, both enrolled in USAID’s OVC programs sitting by their home in Arbaminch town of SNNPR, Ethiopia Photo Credit: Befikadu Dawit, HIV/Health Linkage Coordinator for FHI360 based in Arbaminch, SNNPR.

Multi-Monthly Dispensing (MMD) for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) ensured program continuity during COVID-19

USAID/Ethiopia’s President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program has achieved significant success in preventing and responding to HIV among children. Programs for children orphaned and made vulnerable by HIV (OVC) help HIV-positive children and adolescents begin and maintain treatment and improve viral suppression -- a key component of decreasing transmission.

 
Two DREAMS Ambassadors hold a sign to raise awareness about the rising issue of GBV in their community due to COVID-19 lockdowns. / FHI360, Zimbabwe

Fighting Gender-based Violence during COVID-19: A success story in Zimbabwe

USAID’s Office of HIV/AIDS work supports adolescent girls and young women by ensuring they receive the support they need to be healthy and safe through the DREAMS (Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe) partnership.

 
Villagers in Thotho watch as the drone flies overhead. / Ryan Triche, GHSC-PSM

Propelling Change

In Malawi, drones prove successful in delivering health commodities to remote areas.

 
Photo of three young women participating in the induction Newly recruited health workers participate in induction in Malawi before deploying to health facilities for service. Photo credit: HRH2030

Building the Health Workforce in Malawi

Health workers are often the unsung heroes in the fight against HIV/AIDS, but many countries face a significant shortage. Discover how USAID is partnering with the Government of Malawi to help strengthen the health workforce to improve HIV services.

 
HIV Advocates Respond to the COVID-19 Crisis” graphic

HIV Advocates Respond to the COVID-19 Crisis
By Daisy Ouya, AVAC Communications Advisor, on behalf of the Coalition to Accelerate and Support Prevention Research (CASPR)

The COVID-19 pandemic demands that everyone apply their skills, resources and networks to empower communities and ease collective suffering.

 
AVAC Report 2019 Asks “Now What?” graphic

AVAC Report 2019 Asks “Now What?”: A look at the highlights
By Breanne Lesnar, MPH, and Stacey Hannah, MHS, on December 18, 2019

Every year our communities commemorate World AIDS Day (WAD) on December 1st, but this WAD carries special weight.

 
The young scientists named the microscope placed at KAVI-ICR

What does Self-Reliance look like on the way to an HIV Vaccine?
By Thomas J. Hope, PhD, and Ann Marie Carias, PhD, on June 2, 2019

On May 18th, the world marks the 21st World AIDS Vaccine Day—a day that serves as an annual reminder of the urgent need for an HIV vaccine.

 
A researcher trains lab technicians in Uganda.

Paving the Way for African Scientists to Spearhead HIV Vaccine Development
By Jill Gilmour, PhD, and Daniel Ochiel, PhD, on January 30, 2019

Discover how the USAID-supported Vaccine Immunology Science and Technology for Africa (VISTA) consortium utilizes scientific talent in Africa to bring us closer to an effective HIV vaccine.

 
HIV Vaccine Researcher in Kilifi, Kenya.

HIV Vaccines Garner Support from the Faith Community in Kayole, Kenya
By Ethel Makila on January 30, 2019

Learn how USAID and International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) are working with the faith-based community to inform the research and development for an HIV vaccine.

Last updated: September 10, 2021

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