By Robert Yule
In recent years, before International AIDS Society (IAS) conferences even begin, there are two events that place a special focus on the effects of HIV/AIDS on children:
- a pediatric symposium sponsored by by The Teresa Group, the Coalition on Children Affected by AIDS (CCABA), and the Global Fund for Children
- an International Workshop on HIV Pediatrics sponsored by Virology Education
The symposium, Children and HIV: Closing the Gap – Ending Vertical Transmission through Community Action, opened today at the Georgetown University Conference Center, with a keynote address from U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Lee. The symposium brings together service providers, donors, researchers, advocates, and policy leaders – all to share data and discuss best pratices for children and families.
EGPAF, a member of CCABA, is presenting throughout the symposium, including talks by staff from the U.S., Switzerland, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe. EGPAF topics on preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) include:
- Country-level efforts to scale up and integrate community support with medical services
- Improving the continuum of care by promoting male involvement
- Mobilizing community engagement through capacity building of media practitioners
- Strengthening district capacity for rapid PMTCT scale up in Zimbabwe using the District Focal Person Approach
CCABA has produced a great roadmap on pediatric and PMTCT-related sessions at AIDS 2012, and will be hosting their own session on Wed, July 25 on community involvement that EGPAF will be participating in.
EGPAF also has a strong presence at the 4th Annual International Workshop on HIV Pediatrics. The abstract-driven workshop shares the latest scientific data and discusses how to implement advances in PMTCT and pediatric treatment in the field.
Both the symposium and the workshop conclude on Sat, July 21, but will help drive the discussion of HIV and children and families throughout AIDS 2012.