The International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC) joined Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) to co-host a Satellite Event, “ART Programmatic Strategies to reach and maintain Undetectable Viral Load” at the IAS Conference in Vancouver on 19 July 2015.
Bactrin Killingo, a palliative care specialist and Senior Knowledge Lead for ITPC, chaired the session. Bactrin explained the importance of Routine Viral Load testing, enhanced adherence support, and community-based ART in reaching and maintaining undetectable load for the greatest number of people as early as possible.
Review of Routine Viral Load Testing
Solange Baptiste, Global Director of Programs and Advocacy at ITPC, stressed the importance of treatment literacy. Solange presented findings from a recent review of access to Routine Viral Load (RVL) Testing across 12 African countries.
Coordinated by ARASA and ITPC the results of the review suggest limited availability of RVL and low levels of awareness of the value of RVL amongst people living with HIV and service providers. A brief prepared for IAS calls on governments, donors and manufacturers to make Routine Viral Load testing widely available. The review findings will inform a campaign to be launched by ARASA and ITPC later this year. Solange’s full presentation can be viewed here.
HIV Drug Optimization
Bactrin Killingo, attended an expert meeting to review the progress, gaps and future plans for HIV drug optimization since the second Conference on Antiretroviral Drug Optimization held in 2013. The meeting was convened by Pangaea Global AIDS, Clinton Health Access, Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development and the International AIDS Society and facilitated by Chief Executive of Pangaea and ITPC Board Member, Ben Plumley. The meeting sought the perspectives of country implementers, researchers from the North and the South, innovator and generic pharmaceutical companies, funders, community and global normative guideline agencies. Read the meeting objectives and key recommendations in the meeting report.
Youth Engagement and Activism
Carlo Oliveras, Advocacy Coordinator for ITPC – Latin America and the Caribbean, was a panelist at the UNICEF consultation on the development of PrEP implementation guidelines for sexually active adolescents on 18 and 19 of July. Carlo reflects on the challenges facing youth activism here and his life and times are featured in spanish language newspaper, El Nuevo Dia. See the English translation here. Carlo is one of the few young people from the region attending the IAS conference, so he plans to post blogs in spanish for every session that might be useful for other youth activists:
- Paediatrics: Growing up on ART;
- START Study session;
- How would you like your PrEP?;
- 90-90-90 Delivering on the targets?;
- TRANS-forming health care;
- Democratizing HIV testing;
- Innovations in methods of Implementation Science;
- Sustainable and transitional financing and resource allocation for HIV;
- HIV and behavioural economics;
- Methods and data required to define the contribution of key populations to local epidemics;
- Achieving 90-90-90 new clinical operational and policy guidance;
- Advancing scale up of optimal HIV treatment in resource limited countries;
- Children and adolescents living with HIV: discovery and management.