Treatment Education & Research

Treatment education is at the core of ITPC’s work. Through empowering people living with HIV and their allies to understand treatment – from the scientific basics to the politics behind access – treatment education results in informed advocates. ITPC also supports civil society advocates to monitor the delivery of HIV treatment services in their countries through community based research. These advocates can then hold national governments and global agencies accountable to their commitments to ensure service access for all in need. Our current programs are below.

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Missing the Target

ITPC contributes a unique perspective to global health advocacy through its Missing the Target (MTT) report series. The MTT model is unique in empowering communities affected by HIV to understand research methodology and undertake community-led research. Rather than waiting to get the attention of outside researchers or development institutions, the MTT model puts the power in the hands of affected communities to document their issues. As a result, critical gaps in the HIV response are exposed earlier and people empowered to advocate for relevant solutions. This is the most recent Missing the Target report. Find other Missing the Target Reports on the Resources page.

Rapid assessments of treatment issues

ITPC also mobilizes in-country partners to assess treatment availability and barriers. For example, our 9 regional networks, together with the AIDS and Rights Alliance of Southern Africa, carried out community-led monitoring on the status of the implementation of the WHO 2013 HIV treatment guidelines in 16 countries. The findings were published in the July 2014 report: Global Policy, Local Disconnects: A Look Into the Implementation of the 2013 HIV Treatment Guidelines.

ITPC is one of five global partners of the Dutch-funded Bridging the Gaps program to promote the health and rights for key populations (LGBTI people, people who use drugs and sex workers). Under this initiative, ITPC produced the Advocacy for Community Treatment ToolKit with modules on understanding HIV treatment; intellectual property rights; human rights; health and HIV financing; and community advocacy.

Much of ITPC’s community-driven grantmaking is being carried out under Bridging the Gaps, and in 2013 we committed $480,000 over two years to grassroots groups and coalitions in 14 countries and four regions – Latin America, Anglophone Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and South and Southeast Asia. During the first year of this grantmaking cycle 19 grantees, of which some are unregistered and several are consortia of PLHIV and key population networks, received grant funds. In July 2014, we received one-year midterm reports from all grantees. Collectively, during the first year of project implementation, the grantees:

  • engaged 1,650 people in treatment literacy trainings on treatment access and adherence;
  • counseled 2,062 people on topics including HIV disease and transmission, ARV treatment, PMTCT and treatment adherence;
  • referred 2,612 people to health services, including the prevention, care and treatment for HIV, opportunistic infections, TB and STDs;
  • carried out 140 advocacy actions such as meetings with officials, advocacy letters and e-mails, public demonstrations, and more; engaged 1,665 people in such advocacy;
  • distributed 18,135 materials such as booklets, flyers, posters, and tee shirts carrying information and/or advocacy messages about HIV testing, prevention, treatment, and other topics; and
  • achieved eight policy changes or new commitments as result of their advocacy work. For example, in Georgia, the Georgian Harm Reduction Network secured lower co-payments of OST patients (a reduction from GEL 150 to GEL 110 per month). This in turn resulted in an 50% (from 1200 to 1800 patients per year) increase in the number of patients enrolled in OST services.