The 18th International Conference on AIDS & Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) in Africa (ICASA)

November 29, 2015- December 4, 2015 | Harare, Zimbabwe

The 18th International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) in Africa (ICASA) will be held November 29 through December 4, 2015 in Harare, Zimbabwe. This prestigious event is organized by the Society for AIDS in Africa, in collaboration with global and local partners. This year, nearly 10,000 delegates from 150 countries will attend, and the conference will highlight the diverse nature of the African region’s HIV and STI epidemics, as well as the unique response required to address them. ICASA attracts global leaders, policy makers, researchers, activists, and others to share the latest scientific advances in the field, to learn from one another’s expertise, and develop strategies to advance all facets of our collective efforts to treat and prevent HIV and STIs.

Topics related to antiretroviral therapy (ART), data quality, HIV/AIDS prevention programs, and health systems strengthening will be a particular focal point at this event. Experts, including those from the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) will work together at this venue to provide various presentations on best practices in these technical areas and will map a way forward to ensure progress in HIV prevention, care and treatment programming.

EGPAF will co-host a satellite session* on the recently launched UNITAID project. We will also be in attendance to present five oral presentations and 13 posters, featuring lessons learned and best practices from six EGPAF-supported countries in subjects including promoting prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) service uptake and retention; improving early infant HIV diagnosis and pediatric HIV case detection; and engaging private and government sectors in HIV prevention and service provision. For more details on each session, see below.

To get exciting news and updates from EGPAF at the conference, be sure to stay tuned to EGPAF’s blog and Twitter feeds throughout the week.


*Update: Presentations from UNITAID Satellite Symposium - Optimizing Testing and Treatment of HIV-Exposed Infants: Creating Sustainable Markets for Point-of-Care Technologies within National Diagnostic Networks

  1. Global statistics and guidelines for pediatric HIV testing and treatment, Dr. Meg Doherty, HIV/AIDS Department, WHO
  2. Challenges and opportunities for improving access to HIV diagnostics for infants and children, Dr. Badara Samb, Office of Special Initatives, UNAIDS
  3. Mozambique's approach to point-of-care early infant diagnosis, Dr. Bindiya Meggi, Instituo Nacional de Saude Mozambique
  4. A parent’s perspective on early infant testing and treatment, Mrs Linda Ngerenge-Matinha, Mother, Zimbabwe
  5. Overview of UNITAID investments in point-of-care early infant diagnosis, Ms. Carmen Perez Casas, UNITAID
  6. Integrating point-of-care testing into the national EID program: The case of Malawi, Mr. James Kandulu, Ministry of Health, Malawi
  7. Integrating point-of-care EID HIV testing into diagnostic and clinical networks and services, Dr. Agnes Mahomva, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, Zimbabwe


Oral Abstract Sessions

Assessment of quality of voluntary medical male circumcision data in Southern West Uganda: Baseline findings (2014)

Monday, November 30, 2015, 12:45pm | Jacaranda 3
Presenter: Moses Mera

Making VMMC Work

Improving HIV care and support service performances in Cote d'Ivoire

Wednesday, December 2 at 12:45pm | Committee Room 5A & B
Presenter: Kouadio Marc N'Goran

Retaining Patients in HIV Treatment: What Is New?

A collaborative approach to establish predictors and true defaulters, and return the defaulters back into care at Ntchisi District hospital, a rural hospital in Ntchitsi District in Malawi

Wednesday, December 2 at 4:45pm | Jacaranda 1 & 2
Presenter: Allan Ahimbisibwe

Operationalizing 90-90-90 from Inputs to Outcomes

Engaging parliamentarians to support children to access treatment for HIV

Thursday, December 3 at 12:45pm | Prof Soudre Room
Presenter: Rhoda Igweta

HIV and Law

Do adolescents equally utilize antenatal care (ANC) and PMTCT services as adult women? Data from patient tracking database in Zimbabwe

Thursday, December 3 at 12:45pm | Committee Room 4
Presenter: Reuben Musarandega

Matching Settings to Entry Points for Better Services

Poster Presentations

Data-Focused Management: Influencing Lasting Change In Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) Programming

By Mankhamba R, Msukwa M, Mchoma C, Mupure C.

Using Mother-Infant Pair Stickers to Improve Testing of HIV Exposed Infants at Age Two Months at Rumphi District Hospital (RDH) in Malawi

By Million M.

Standardizing Strategic Information and Evaluation (SI&E) approaches, procedures, and practices: An EGPAF-Mozambique experience (EGPAF, 2011-2015)

By Mbalane E, Barros A, Nhanala A, Seclen-Palacin J.

Trend analysis of HIV/TB integrated services utilization and coverage in Uganda South West region (2011-2014)

By Seclen-Palacin J, Kajungu EN, Asiimwe J.

Barriers to the implementation of the Accelerated Children's HIV/AIDS Treatment (ACT) initiative in Hurungwe district, in Zimbabwe: Findings from a qualitative survey

By Muchedzi A, Musarandega R, Mutede B, Chadambuka A, Tachiwenyika E, Ncomanzi T, Tumbare EA, Mahomva A.

Informing the Acceleration of Adolescent and Pediatric Care & Treatment initiative (ACT) using a demonstration Pilot, Zimbabwe, 2015: Results of a baseline assessment in Hurungwe district

By Muchedzi A, Musarandega R, Chadambuka A, Mutede B, Tachiwenyika E, Ncomanzi T, Tumbare EA, Mahomva A.

Barriers to PMTCT service uptake and retention within care and treatment in Hurungwe

By Chadambuka A, Muchedzi A, Chikwinya B, Godfrey W.

Engaging the private sector in accelerating progress toward eMTCT and in implementation of new World Health Organization (WHO) 2013 HIV guidelines in Zimbabwe

By Tumbare EA, Mahomva A, Nyamundaya T, Mahachi N.

Using lessons learnt from procurement of POC CD4 devices to inform new procurement and supply management of devices for public health delivery system: An EGPAF-Zimbabwe experience

By Mbengo F, Mutede B, Tumbare EA, Muponda J, Chadambuka A, Zinyemba C, Makayi M, Mahomva A.

Stepping up pediatric HIV case identification: Using FedEx to transport early infant diagnostic samples from remote areas in Zimbabwe

By Tumbare EA, Mthombeni P, Ndoro T, Chinaka E

Supporting an integrated specimen transportation system to scale up early infant diagnosis (EID): sharing experience from Zimbabwe

By Nyamundaya T, Chinaka E, Zinyemba C, Tumbare EA, Shiri P.

Scaling-up WHO-recommended PMTCT services using a health systems strengthening approach in a resource-limited setting: An Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation Experience in Zimbabwe

By Mahomva A.

Promoting Optimal uptake of Antenatal Care (ANC) Services among Women of Childbearing-Age: Findings of a Literature review conducted in Zimbabwe

By Zinyemba C.

Satellites and Workshops

Optimizing Testing and Treatment of HIV-Exposed Infants: Creating Sustainable Markets for Point-of-Care Technologies within National Diagnostic Networks

December 1, 2015 | 6:30-8:30pm | Prof. Soudre Room, Rainbow Towers Hotels and Conference Centre, Harare, Zimbabwe
Host(s): UNITAID, EGPAF, Clinton Health Access Initiative, UNICEF
Speaker(s): Keynote Speech: Ambassador Deborah Birx, U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Moderators: Mr. Robert Matiru, UNITAID and Dr. Lisa J. Nelson, PEPFAR. Dr. Meg Doherty, Coordinator, Treatment and Care, HIV/AIDS Department, The World Health Organization (WHO); Dr. Badara Samb, Chief, Office of Special Initiatives, Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS; Dr. Bindiya Meggi, Head of Clinical Research Unit and Coordinator of point-of-care early infant HIV diagnosis (EID) and viral load studies, Instituto Nacional de Saude, Mozambique; Mrs. Ngerende, Mother, Zimbabwe; Mr. Reuben Mwenda, Deputy Director, Diagnostics, Health Technical Support Services, MOH, Malawi; Dr. Agnes Mahomva, Country Directory, EGPAF-Zimbabwe; Ms. Cynthia Mwase, Department Head of Africa and Middle East, The Global Fund.


Globally, more than 1.4 million babies were born to mothers living with HIV in 2014. While WHO recommends all HIV-exposed infants receive a virological test for HIV within 2 months of birth, less than half had access to EID screening in that same year (1). Fifty percent of infants who are tested never receive the results (2). Without treatment, up to 30% of children will die by their first birthday, and 50% by their second (3). While coverage of conventional, laboratory-based EID has increased in recent years, important gaps still remain that could be filled through the introduction of point-of-care testing within national EID network plans and laboratory systems.

This symposium will provide an overview of two UNITAID-funded projects that aim to optimize early infant diagnosis of HIV in 13 African countries through the introduction of new-to-market, point-of-care testing and, thereby, increase the number of infants with HIV receiving life-saving treatment, while also developing robust markets for affordable, effective and equitable EID testing. UNITAID, EGPAF, The Clinton Health Access Initiative and UNICEF are collaborating on the initiative, working hand-in-hand with ministries of health, industry, academics and key global stakeholders such as WHO, UNAIDS, The Global Fund and PEPFAR.

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