U.S., Côte d’Ivoire Governments and Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation Commemorate Program

February 14, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Gilberte Koffi, Foundation Ariel Glaser, gkoffi@arielglaser.ci, +225 22 41 88 80

Fondation Ariel Glaser pour la Lutte Contre le SIDA Pediatrique en Côte d’Ivoire Will Continue Fight for an AIDS-Free Generation

February 14, 2012, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire – The U.S. Government under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) – with funding through the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – the Côte d’Ivoire Ministry of Health and AIDS Control, and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) gathered in Abidjan to commemorate an important milestone in the fight against HIV/AIDS: the conclusion of the life-saving HIV/AIDS program Project HEART, and the launch of a new local organization, Fondation Ariel Glaser pour la Lutte Contre le SIDA Pediatrique en Côte d’Ivoire.

The event was hosted by Her Excellency, First Lady Dominique Ouattara, founding member of the Children of Africa foundation.

Since 2004, the CDC-funded Project HEART has supported HIV prevention, care, and treatment services in Côte d’Ivoire, ultimately providing more than 897,000 pregnant women with HIV counseling and testing, and more than 205,000 individuals – including more than 13,000 children – with HIV care services. But there is still much HIV prevention and care and treatment work to do to in the country to achieve an AIDS-free generation: approximately 450,000 people are living with HIV in Côte d’Ivoire, and of those, 63,000 are children under the age of 15.

As Project HEART concludes, EGPAF will continue its work in Côte d’Ivoire by supporting its new local affiliate, the Fondation Ariel Glaser. 

“The leaders of Fondation Ariel Glaser have valuable experience and are prepared to continue the important work begun by Project HEART,” said Charles Lyons, EGPAF’s President and CEO, who spoke at the event. “We strongly believe that through consistent leadership, clear goals, a national plan, and dedicated partnerships like the one we are celebrating today, we can eliminate pediatric AIDS in Côte d’Ivoire.”

Today’s event featured special guests and representatives from EGPAF, the Fondation Ariel Glaser, the Côte d’Ivoire Ministry of Health, PEPFAR, CDC, UNICEF, and many local partners. There were also presentations featuring beneficiaries of Project HEART who received services to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT), and a group of children all born free of HIV because of PMTCT.

“The Fondation Ariel Glaser looks forward to working with all of our partners to implement the national plan to eliminate pediatric HIV/AIDS,” said Dr. Anthony Tanoh, Executive Director of the Fondation Ariel Glaser. “Côte d’Ivoire is committed to achieving an AIDS-free generation.”

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About Project HEART:
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) led the implementation of Project HEART (Help Expand Antiretroviral Therapy to children and families) in five countries over the past eight years through the leadership and support of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The program was part of the PEPFAR Track 1.0 treatment initiative to rapidly scale up antiretroviral therapy (ART) through existing organizations that were already implementing programs to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT). The Foundation launched Project HEART in 2004 in Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zambia, and in 2006 in Mozambique. Beyond ensuring access to high-quality prevention, care, and treatment programs, Project HEART prioritized the strengthening of government health systems and empowering local partners to provide sustainable, locally-led HIV/AIDS services. 

About the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF):
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) is a global leader in the fight against pediatric HIV and AIDS, and has reached more than 13 million women with services to prevent transmission of HIV to their babies. It currently works at more than 5,900 sites and in 15 countries to implement prevention, care, and treatment services; to further advance innovative research; and to execute strategic and targeted global advocacy activities in order to bring dramatic change to the lives of millions of women, children, and families worldwide. 

About the Fondation Ariel Glaser pour la Lutte Contre le SIDA Pediatrique en Côte d’Ivoire:
The Fondation Ariel Glaser pour la Lutte contre le SIDA Pédiatrique en Côte d’Ivoire (Fondation Ariel Glaser) works to eliminate pediatric AIDS and provide HIV prevention, care, and treatment services for those in Côte d’Ivoire. In collaboration with the Côte d’Ivoire Ministry of Health and partners including the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF), Fondation Ariel Glaser supports the provision of high-quality HIV services, and ensures that efforts to reach the shared goal of the elimination of pediatric AIDS are well integrated into existing local and regional health systems. Fondation Ariel Glaser has offices in Abidjan, Abengourou, and San Pedro, and currently supports quality HIV services led by regional and district health authorities at more than 250 health facilities in seven regions: Moyen-Comoé, N’zi Comoé, Bas-Sassandra, Agnéby, Lagunes 1, Lagunes 2, and Zanzan.