The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) is pleased to announce that it has been selected by the UNITAID Executive Board to receive up to $63 million in funding to improve early infant diagnosis (EID) of HIV programs in nine African countries. This investment will pave the way for universal access to HIV testing and enable a ten-fold increase in HIV treatment, thus transforming the effort to end AIDS in children worldwide.
The new project will provide 650 HIV testing devices to enable more than 780,000 infant HIV tests over three years, reaching approximately 40 percent of the unmet early infant testing needs in these countries. The project will also improve efficiency and reduce overall infant HIV testing costs.
"This new investment is a game-changer in the effort to end AIDS in children and brings us dramatically closer to achieving universal access to HIV testing and care. Thanks to UNITAID, we will now be able to quickly and efficiently test and treat more HIV-exposed infants, ultimately saving millions of lives," said Charles Lyons, EGPAF president and CEO. "EGPAF is honored to join UNITAID for this project as we work together to create a world where no child has AIDS."
Initiating infants living with HIV on treatment before 12 weeks of age reduces HIV-related mortality by 75 percent. However, only half of babies born to HIV-infected mothers are tested in their first two months of life, and 50 percent of those infants who are tested never receive their test results and therefore cannot be put on life-saving treatment. This new project will aim to scale-up EID programs by reaching rural communities in target areas that would otherwise have limited access to HIV testing and treatment services.
EGPAF's project with UNITAID will take place over three years. Additional project details are forthcoming.
About the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF):
EGPAF is the global leader in the fight against pediatric HIV/ AIDS and has reached 20 million women with services to prevent transmission of HIV to their babies. It currently supports more than 7,000 health facilities and works in 15 countries to implement prevention, care, and treatment services; to further advance innovative research; and to execute global advocacy activities that bring dramatic change to the lives of millions of women, children, and families worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.
UNITAID is a global health initiative established to fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and malaria. It was launched in 2006 by the governments of Brazil, Chile, France, Norway, and the United Kingdom, and about 60 percent of its funding comes from a tiny levy on airline tickets. Today, UNITAID is supported by 17 countries and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Through grantees, UNITAID enables vastly increased access to adapted quality-assured medicines and diagnostics for the three diseases for patients in greatest need. For more information: http://www.