Expediting Access to Antiretroviral Treatment for More Infants and Young Children in Malawi (ViiV Healthcare)
With funding from ViiV Healthcare, this project is focused on improving and expediting access to testing, care, and antiretroviral treatment (ART) for infants and young children in Malawi. The project has the following two objectives:
• Objective 1: Improve access in five existing pilot sites in Dedza, Ntcheu, and Lilongwe districts with a focus on better understanding of key gaps and testing of potential solutions.
• Objective 2: Increase access to early infant diagnosis and treatment services through scale-up of pilot program in additional high volume sites in two new districts (Salima and Nkhotakota Districts).
The project has been critically important to EGPAF’s efforts to pilot, monitor, and evaluate innovative approaches to improving access to early infant diagnosis and treatment (EIDT). These include initiating interventions to fill key gaps in testing, care, and treatment for infants and young children (IYC), as well as the identification and monitoring of key indicators at ViiV-supported pilot sites in order to ascertain improvements in HIV testing and treatment initiation among exposed IYC in light of our ViiV-supported activities.
In addition, the project has resulted in significant rate increases for patients testing for HIV and receiving their results, both key early infant diagnosis indicators for Malawi. A total of 32% of infants who tested HIV-positive using DNA-PCR received their results within eight weeks of testing (an important increase from our baseline of 8%). Facilities also saw a five-fold increase in HIV-positive infants under a year old who were initiated on ART (10% at baseline compared to 53% at the end of year one).