Looking at where we have come from, and where we are in southern Africa’s fight against HIV, it is clear that we have had some monumental successes and some incredible failures along the way, both of which we can learn from to do better. One clear theme throughout the first day of the 2nd International Workshop on HIV Adolescence: Challenges and Solutions was that we have not consistently and adequately gained the insights of the very people who are enrolled in studies to generate evidence on how to address the needs of these populations. Further, we have not committed the resources required to conduct the research on the populations that are difficult to reach, whether due to challenging ethical enrolment or stigma and criminalization of key populations.
Despite the fact that people under the age of 18 make up about 25% of the global population, research among adolescents has been a neglected area. We know that it is important to conduct research among pediatric and adolescent populations, but to date the focus has remained on adults. Just how significant the risks are of not including adolescents in clinical trials emerged as a key theme at the 2nd International Workshop on HIV Adolescence, as well as the logistical, ethical, legal, justice, and human rights considerations that need to be taken into account when designing and implementing research involving adolescents.
Join Project SOAR for a webinar featuring the latest evidence and insights from implementation science research in Malawi and capacity-strengthening activities with DREAMS implementing partners (IPs) in Botswana, Cote d’Ivoire, Haiti, Namibia, and Rwanda.
The 2018 International AIDS Conference called attention to men’s low uptake of HIV testing services (HTS) and the need for greater efforts to ensure men know their status and link to treatment if they test positive for HIV.
In late 2015, the World Health Organization announced new treatment guidelines recommending that anyone who has tested positive for HIV should begin antiretroviral therapy (ART) as soon as possible. The Government of Namibia has adopted the “treat all” guidelines as national policy.
PEPFAR (the US President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief) has supported the voluntary medical male circumcisions (VMMC) of 15,269,720 men and boys in 14 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, in the eleven years to 2017, according to a paper recently published in BMJ Open.