Three African Countries To Launch Pilot PEPFAR Programs
Namibia, Kenya and Tanzania plan to launch the pilot phases of an initiative that aims to promote HIV prevention and care strategies among people already living with the virus, the New Era/AllAfrica.com reports. The initiative, called HIV Prevention in Care and Treatment Settings, is part of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.
Jan Moore, head of the prevention branch at CDC's Global AIDS Program, said the project is a PEPFAR special initiative that targets HIV-positive people already receiving services. Moore during a meeting on Tuesday in Windhoek, Namibia, with representatives from the three countries said the initiative aims to encourage HIV-positive people to practice safer sex, promote HIV testing to their partners, receive treatment for other sexually transmitted infections and access counseling on family planning.
According to the New Era/AllAfrica.com, the meeting, which ends Friday, will foster a common understanding of the initiative's intervention materials and will review and finalize intervention strategies and training resources. The delegates also will confirm the initiative's design, methods and procedures, as well as address staffing logistics and implementation evaluations, the New Era/AllAfrica.com reports. Other topics to be discussed include interventions by health care providers, family planning, STIs, data collection, and timelines for project development and implementation.
Namibian Minister of Health and Social Services Richard Kamwi said that although prevention among HIV-positive people is an important component of a comprehensive strategy, such efforts almost have exclusively targeted HIV-negative people. He added, "It has been realized however that there is need to extend the prevention strategies to include HIV-positive people." Kamwi called for a quick rollout of the initiative to other countries equally affected by the disease. The initiative is expected to begin later this year. The success of the pilot programs will determine if the initiative will be expanded to other countries, the New Era/AllAfrica.com reports (Tjaronda, New Era/AllAfrica.com, 1/30).