On the first anniversary of the adoption by the World Health Assembly of the Global Health Sector Strategy (GHSS) on HIV/AIDS, 2011-2015, the HIV Programme has just published an operational plan on priority actions for the next two years. The operational plan provides detailed information on key activities by WHO`s HIV programme at headquarters, regional and country offices to implement the GHSS. It aims to keep track of the progress achieved, results attained and resources needed during the life-span of the strategy.
The GHSS has identified four strategic directions for the health sector and WHO over five years:
- To optimize HIV prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care outcomes
- To leverage broader health outcomes through HIV responses
- To build strong and sustainable systems
- To reduce vulnerability and remove structural barriers to accessing services.
The operational plan reflects an extended focus of the HIV Department, as it responds to the fast-moving and complex developments in HIV science and country programmes. In order to meet the needs of the Member states for cutting-edge normative and technical leadership on HIV diagnostics, care, treatment and support, the WHO HIV Department has defined the following flagship initiatives as priorities over the next two years:
Guidance on the strategic use of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs)
On the basis of a global consultative dialogue aimed at the strategic use of the full range of antiretrovirals in national AIDS programmes for both prevention and treatment of HIV, WHO is working to provide consolidated guidance on HIV in 2013. The guidance takes stock of the scientific advancements, as well as progress in countries. It also aims to provide more programmatic and operational know how, in addition to clinical recommendations.
Antiretrovirals (ARV) for preventing HIV
WHO is developing guidance on ways for countries to incorporate new evidence on the prevention benefits of ARVs in a variety of programmatic settings, including guidance on HIV testing and counselling for couples, and guidance on oral and topical pre-exposure prophylaxis (PreP) of HIV.
Elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (eMTCT)
As co-convener with UNICEF on the UNAIDS effort for elimination of mother-to-child transmission (eMTCT) of HIV by 2015, WHO is providing updated technical guidance to countries to implement the initiative. It works to ensure that this key initiative is well coordinated, monitored and integrated with other related reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health initiatives to benefit more children and mothers in need.
Together with the UNAIDS Secretariat and global partners, including civil society, WHO is driving the next phase of scaling up HIV treatment and care, with a focus on optimized drug regimens that maximize efficiency and impact, expanded access to quality-assured point-of-care (POC) diagnostics, integrating and decentralizing service delivery, and driving increased market transparency and investment in optimal target product profiles.
Comprehensive, integrated services for key populations
WHO, in collaboration with key populations and civil society, will further develop normative guidance on integrated prevention and treatment service packages for people who inject drugs (including harm reduction and tuberculosis (TB) interventions), sex workers, men who have sex with men and transgendered populations.
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