OHA December 2017 E-Newsletter

Inside OHA - USAID's Office of HIV/AIDS. Stay Connected. Spread the Word.
School children wave flags for World AIDS Day.

USAID's Office of HIV/AIDS World AIDS Day 2017 Photo Contest winner – Students at Therisanyo Primary School in Gaborone demonstrate the strong partnership between the United States and Botswana in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Photo Credit: George W. Bush Institute

December 2017

Message from the Director

This past year was seemingly marked by constant change and required a lot from those of us who work to combat HIV/AIDS around the world.

As a key implementing agency of the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), we remain committed to advancing and supporting the sustained control of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Despite new organizational structures or changes in leadership, our work remains constant – rooted in using data-driven, cost-effective investments to reach the most vulnerable and at-risk populations. Through our partnerships, we continue to seek out the most innovative methods to accelerate results-based prevention, care and treatment programming around the world and work with country governments in their progression toward controlling their own epidemics.

Seeing new data released on World AIDS Day, it's clear to me that our collective efforts continue to make an impact. Programs like DREAMS have shown significant rates of effective prevention for adolescent girls and young women, and we continue to expand the number of people accessing life-saving HIV testing, treatment and care.

The tides of an epidemic as complex as HIV/AIDS will always shift, and often, new opportunities can present new obstacles. But, it is because of the strength of the global HIV/AIDS community – our implementing partners, interagency colleagues, partner governments, civil society and global advocates – that we continue to make great strides. As we enter into the new year, we remain just as optimistic as ever before that our endeavor to end this epidemic is within reach.  

Doug Arbuckle
Director, USAID Office of HIV/AIDS

World AIDS Day 2017

The theme for World AIDS Day 2017 was Increasing Impact through Transparency, Accountability, and Partnerships. As the year draws to a close, we reflect on the impact global partnerships between USAID, PEPFAR and our implementing partners have had worldwide. Check out USAID's World AIDS 2017 webpage for a thorough compilation of all World AIDS Day-related items and see the following items for key highlights from the observance day:

 

 

DREAMS Partnership Results

Of the many announcements made on World AIDS Day included the latest results from the PEPFAR's DREAMS partnership. USAID serves as a key implementer of DREAMS, working to help girls in 10 sub-Saharan African countries develop into Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored and Safe women.

Results from the end of the initial two-year partnership show a 25 percent–40 percent decline in new HIV diagnosis among adolescent girls and young women in the 10 DREAMS countries. The majority (65 percent or 41 districts) of the highest HIV-burden districts achieved a decline in new diagnoses among adolescent girls and young women ages 15–24 by more than 25 percent since 2015, including 14 districts that had a decline of greater than 40 percent. New HIV diagnoses also declined in nearly all DREAMS intervention districts.

Watch the USAID-produced video called Maggie's Quest to Reach Her Dreams to see how the partnership is helping a young Malawian and her peers to stay HIV-free. View the DREAMS Story Map to read success stories from all 10 DREAMS-supported countries.

Optimized Antiretrovirals: The Transition to TLD

In 2018, "TLD" – a dolutegravir-based single-pill HIV treatment – will present patients and programs in low- and middle-income countries a new treatment option with a wide range of benefits, including rapid rates of viral suppression and low rates of resistance. USAID is proud to collaborate with diverse stakeholders to accelerate access to this simpler, safer and more affordable HIV treatment, including through its support for the Wits RHI-led OPTIMIZE consortium.

This innovative, South African-led partnership – including ICAP at Columbia University‚ Mylan Laboratories‚ the University of Liverpool, the UNITAID-funded Medicines Patent Pool, and the University of Cape Town (UCT) – leverages expertise in research, manufacturing, market access, and program implementation. As an expanding partnership aimed at harnessing multiple stakeholders' collective efforts, the consortium's clinical trial investments benefit from the contributions of private sector partners, including Gilead and ViiV. All efforts are informed by the critical inputs of community and advocacy leaders in ART optimization through a joint Programme Advisory Committee, co-chaired by the World Health Organization and Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and co-hosted by Unitaid.

Interested in learning more? Access the following visual briefs to:

Farewell, John Crowley

A large group of people sit and stand in a living room.

The Supply Chain for Health Division at John Crowley's retirement party. Photo credit: USAID

After serving USAID for 37 years, most recently as the Office of HIV/AIDS' (OHA's) Chief of the Supply Chain for Health (SCH) Division, John will be retiring in January. Prior to joining OHA seven years ago, John served as the Director of USAID's Health Office in South Africa for five years, managing the Agency's PEPFAR and primary healthcare portfolios. Before South Africa, he worked in USAID's Office of Population and Reproductive Health where he was in charge of the Agency's multimillion-dollar contraceptive procurement and distribution program. With a PhD in Sociology from Rutgers University, John has nearly four decades of experience in international public health issues and has worked in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Philippines, Malawi, Botswana and Kenya.

As John was preparing for his retirement, he created a sort of unofficial "bucket list." Those of us on his team already know some items on the list and have taken a few wild guesses about what else it contains: How about a new luxury sedan (aka John's dream car)? Spending many days at New York's Finger Lakes enjoying a true summer vacation (sans work-related email) with his wife Kay and daughter Julia?

While the remaining items on the list are left to be answered, we are pretty sure we know what will NOT be included on the bucket list: the many briefers, meetings, acronyms (PEPFAR, COP, HOP, MER, POART, SIMS, EA, DPs, SMT, to name a few) and retreats (unless they are retreats to his cabin)!

We are excited for John and all that lies ahead for him. John can now look forward to visiting Johannesburg strictly as a tourist and not as an office representative reviewing dense reporting activities. Also, given the dedicated Washington Nationals' fan that he is (John never misses a baseball game), we are excited that he can now attend games fully-equipped with his very own Nat's jersey (personalized with his last name and the number 1 on its back), a parting gift from his SCH team.

OHA and the SCH team will miss John's leadership; however, he will forever remain part of the family.

 

Publications Round-up

OHA staff have a tremendous amount of knowledge and expertise to share on the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which can often be seen in a wide range of journals. Check out the OHA-authored and/or co-authored works below published between July and December 2017.

Stay connected! Forward this e-mail, like USAID for Global Health on Facebook and follow @USAIDGH on Twitter.

Contact OHA-Communications-Team@usaid.gov for more information.

USAID is a proud implementer of the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

    Last updated: December 29, 2017

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