Working in Haiti to Strengthen Perinatal HIV Surveillance from the Ground Up

By Dr Nadjy Joseph, PMTCT Surveillance Manager, NASTAD Haiti and Anna Carroll, Associate, Global Program, NASTAD

Over the past several years NASTAD has worked with the Haitian Ministry of Health (MoH) to establish one of the few functioning HIV/AIDS case based surveillance systems in the developing world. This system, in place since 2008, has significantly strengthened the MoH’s ability to understand and respond to the national epidemic. However, the reporting of infected pregnant women, HIV-exposed infants and confirmed mother-to-child transmission has not always been complete and timely, which has made it difficult for public health officials to respond to the epidemic in this population. Continue reading

Creating a Cross-Continental Exchange of Knowledge to Support Young Women in Ethiopia

By Birhan Mengistu, Senior HIV Mainstreaming Specialist, NASTAD Ethiopia and Anna Carroll, Associate, Global Program, NASTAD

Birhan Mengistu, Senior HIV Mainstreaming Specialist, NASTAD Ethiopia

Birhan Mengistu, Senior HIV Mainstreaming Specialist, NASTAD Ethiopia

Every hour, an estimated 50 young women are newly infected with HIV. In many areas of the world, gender inequalities make it especially difficult for women to access HIV prevention, treatment, and care services.  Even basic information about HIV is unattainable; UNAIDS estimates that only 38% of young women have accurate, comprehensive knowledge of HIV/AIDS.

This critical issue has not gone unnoticed in Ethiopia, where approximately 380,000 women over the age of 15 are living with HIV (the total population of Ethiopia is over 90 million). In 2009, we at NASTAD Ethiopia began working with the Federal HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office (HAPCO) to identify ways to support this at-risk population. Knowing that our membership of U.S. state AIDS directors had significant experience in delivery to scale of proven effective behavioral interventions targeting high risk populations through the CDC Diffused Evidence Based Interventions (DEBIs), we leveraged their skills and training expertise to modify and adapt selected DEBIs for implementation in Ethiopia. Continue reading

NASTAD Supports Leadership Development for Botswana’s District AIDS Coordinators

Michelle Batchelor, Senior Manager, Global Program, NASTAD

ALDP Master Trainers and Participants

ALDP Master Trainers and Participants

This month, fourteen District AIDS Coordinators (DACs) and Assistant DACs (ADACs) gathered in Gaborone, Botswana to complete week one of the Applied Leadership Development Program (ALDP) for District HIV and AIDS Coordination Training. DACs and ADACs form the backbone of the district-level HIV response in Botswana, where an estimated 340,000 people are living with HIV. The training was hosted by the Ministry of Local Government & Rural Development (MLG&RD), with support and mentoring provided by NASTAD.  Continue reading

NASTAD Haiti Celebrates 10 Years!

By Anna Carroll, Associate, Global Program, NASTAD

NASTAD Haiti staff celebrate NASTAD’s 10th Anniversary

NASTAD Haiti staff celebrate NASTAD’s 10th Anniversary Commemoration at our office in Port-au-Prince.

In 2003, a small cohort of NASTAD technical assistance providers visited Port-au-Prince, Haiti to explore the possibility of providing support to the Haiti Ministry of Health (MoH) as it developed its HIV surveillance system. Over the following years, NASTAD partnered with the MoH to design, pilot, and implement one of the few, high-functioning case surveillance systems in the developing world. Today, after ten years of successful collaboration, NASTAD Haiti has an office in Port-au-Prince staffed by 10 local public health practitioners, and has expanded its work to support not only HIV case based surveillance but also enhanced perinatal surveillance of HIV-positive pregnant women and their HIV-exposed babies, and surveillance of HIV/TB co-infection.

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Strengthening the HIV Continuum of Care in South Africa

By Anna Carroll, Associate, Global Program, NASTAD

NASTAD staff visit the Hlalanikahle Clinic with Mpumalanga Department of Health Staff, the Health Facility Manager and Facility Based Support Group Facilitators

NASTAD staff visit the Hlalanikahle Clinic with Mpumalanga Department of Health Staff, the Health Facility Manager and Facility Based Support Group Facilitators

Since 2002, the number of people receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV/AIDS in low- and middle-income countries has increased dramatically, from 300,000 in 2002 to 9.7 million in 2012. Despite this striking improvement, this represents only 34% of people currently eligible for ART under the 2013 WHO guidelines.

The National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) Global Program has worked hard to reduce this massive treatment gap in South Africa, where an estimated 5.6 million people are living with HIV and AIDS, the greatest number of people in any country worldwide. In 2009, the South African government initiated the Integrated Access to Care and Treatment (I ACT) Program as one important component of its national response to the HIV epidemic. As a primary partner to provincial departments of health in South Africa, NASTAD began working in partnership with the Free State and Mpumalanga Provincial Departments of Health (PDoH) to support the implementation and development of I ACT in these provinces. Continue reading