Care and Treatment

In Tanzania, EGPAF works with the central laboratory to reduce turnaround time and sensitize staff on early infant diagnosis.

James Pursey/EGPAF

The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) is a proven leader in the provision of HIV prevention, care and treatment services. Since 2000 EGPAF, through support from the U.S. Government, multilateral and private donors has played a key role in the scale-up of comprehensive HIV care and treatment services in the regions of the world most affected by HIV and AIDS. Project HEART, our eight-year HIV care and treatment program, funded through PEPFAR and CDC, worked to expand HIV services in Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Mozambique. This flagship program dramatically increased the number of adults and children receiving HIV care and treatment.

Today, Project HEART’s legacy lives on throughout our 14 country programs where EGPAF seeks to extend HIV prevention, care and treatment services to at least 80 percent of children, women, and families affected by HIV in EGPAF-supported sites. To achieve this goal and secure the long-term health and well-being of families affected by HIV, EGPAF focuses on local ownership, working with ministries of health and local organizations to build their capacity to expand care and treatment coverage, integrate services across the continuum of care, and increase the quality of HIV services.  EGPAF also engages in advocacy efforts at the global level to ensure access to treatment for children.

Areas of Expertise: Adult and Pediatric Care and Treatment

Early Identification for HIV-exposed Infants: EGPAF works with ministries of health to scale up early infant diagnosis (EID) by training health facility staff to collect Dried blood spot polymerase chain reaction (DBS-PCR) diagnostic tests, ensuring laboratory staff have adequate capacity for infant testing, and introducing innovative techniques, such as SMS printers, to improve transport of samples and facilitate expedited return of results.

Comprehensive Package of Support for Pediatric HIV Care and Treatment Services: EGPAF works to strengthen pediatric care and treatment by:

  1. Reinforcing immediate initiation of ART for all HIV-positive children under the age of five;
  2. Strengthening capacity of healthcare workers to provide pediatric care and treatment services;
  3. Developing protocols to ensure that provider initiated testing and counseling (PITC) is instituted in pediatric wards, under-five clinics, and emergency rooms; and
  4. Increasing provision of Cotrimoxazole prophylaxis for HIV-exposed and HIV-positive infants.

Expansion of Antiretroviral (ARV) Treatment: Access to ARV treatment has expanded significantly with EGPAF now supporting over 1,300 care and treatment sites across our country programs. While ARV distribution has reached more people than ever before, EGPAF supports ministries of health and local partners to expand access to peripheral sites, as well as, mobile clinics, which provides access to patients in remote areas, helps relieve sites that are reaching full capacity, and improves adherence to care and treatment by providing services closer to home.

Improved HIV Treatment Outcomes and Adherence: To improve adherence to treatment and retention in HIV services, EGPAF supports ministries of health and other local partners to:

  1. Provide high quality pre-ART counseling;
  2. Empower patients through ART group sessions for social support;
  3. Trains and mentors health care staff to improve the quality of clinical services;
  4. Conducts proactive, targeted community defaulter follow-up; and
  5. Provides community linkages to ensure patients have access to home-based care, nutrition support, and orphans and vulnerable children care and support services in their communities.

Comprehensive Package of Support for Pediatric HIV Care and Treatment Services: EGPAF works to strengthen pediatric care and treatment by:

  1. Reinforcing immediate initiation of ART for all HIV-positive children under the age of two;
  2. Strengthening capacity of healthcare workers to provide pediatric care and treatment services;
  3. Developing protocols to ensure that provider initiated testing and counseling (PITC) is instituted in pediatric wards, under-five clinics, and emergency rooms; and
  4. Increasing provision of Cotrimoxazole prophylaxis for HIV-exposed and HIV-positive infants.

Expansion of Antiretroviral (ARV) Treatment: Access to ARV treatment has expanded significantly with EGPAF now supporting over 1,300 care and treatment sites across our country programs. While ARV distribution has reached more people than ever before, EGPAF supports ministries of health and local partners to expand access to peripheral sites, as well as, mobile clinics, which provides access to patients in remote areas, helps relieve sites that are reaching full capacity, and improves adherence to care and treatment by providing services closer to home.

Improved HIV Treatment Outcomes and Adherence: To improve adherence to treatment and retention in HIV services, EGPAF supports ministries of health and other local partners to:

  1. Provide high quality pre-ART counseling;
  2. Empower patients through ART group sessions for social support;
  3. Trains and mentors health care staff to improve the quality of clinical services;
  4. Conducts proactive, targeted community defaulter follow-up; and
  5. Provides community linkages to ensure patients have access to home-based care, nutrition support, and orphans and vulnerable children care and support services in their communities.

Linking Services to ensure the Continuum of Care: EGPAF assists ministries of health in linking prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) and care and treatment services. By working to ensure that all HIV-positive pregnant women are enrolled into HIV care and where necessary, treatment, EGPAF has seen a marked decrease in loss to follow-up that often occurs once a woman has given birth.

TB/HIV Integration: EGPAF supports ministries of health to integrate tuberculosis (TB) and HIV services. EGPAF supports HIV-testing for all TB patients with appropriate follow-up and referrals, and TB screening for HIV-positive patients. At the community level, EGPAF works with community health workers, support groups, and community counselors to identify TB cases, provide directly observed TB treatment – short course (DOTS), refer clients to health facilities, and develop a system of contact tracing. 

Support Groups and Palliative Care: EGPAF supports the provision of family-based HIV care services through a broad range of activities, including supporting ministries of health to provide comprehensive palliative care and peer mother support groups for individuals living with and affected by HIV and AIDS.  EGPAF has pioneered pediatric support groups, called “Ariel Clubs,” named after Elizabeth Glaser’s daughter, Ariel. These clubs provide a safe space for HIV-positive children to receive support and create lasting friendships.  Several Ariel Club members have gone on to become national and international advocates for children’s HIV issues.

Mentoring, Training, and Capacity Building of Staff: Training health staff and creating a pool of skilled workers is crucial to scaling up access to HIV services, particularly as ministries of health push for decentralized care and treatment services.  EGPAF supports both pre-service training, as well as, on-the-job training and on-going mentorship and supportive supervision for existing healthcare workers.

To download a PDF on HIV care and treatment and EGPAF’s impact, click here.
To download the PDF in French, click here. 
To download the PDF in Portuguese, click here.