Issue 1 – February 2016

Spotlight

  • Country highlights

    South Africa

    OPTIONS has provided technical leadership and support for the PrEP Technical Working Group (TWG), which is developing policy and guidelines for oral PrEP implementation in South Africa. POWER and CHARISMA have participated in TWG meetings and provided input to the draft guidelines as well.

    EMOTION partnered with Instant Grass, an advocacy, marketing, and strategy group to conduct in-depth qualitative interviews with end users and key stakeholders including: young urban women and
    men; young rural women and men; and female sex workers and health care providers in urban, public, and private settings.

    Kenya

    OPTIONS met with the National AIDS & STI Control Programme (NASCOP) and other stakeholders
    to gather information for the value chain situation analysis and will meet with the USAID mission in February.

    Zimbabwe

    OPTIONS will meet with the USAID mission in February to discuss PrEP implementation.

Project Updates

  • The OPTIONS Consortium objective is to develop a streamlined, adaptable product delivery platform for current and future ARV-based HIV prevention options, with a particular focus on women.


    Supporting introduction of oral PrEP at the country level. OPTIONS is developing situation analyses along the value chain for Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa, which are based on existing documents and country plans, published data, and stakeholder interviews.

    The team has nearly completed a communications landscape analysis for South Africa with a focus on adolescent girls, female sex workers, and health care providers. Existing end-user data were
    culled from clinical trials, behavioral studies, demonstration projects, social scientists, leading publications/news sites, proprietary McCann Global brand studies, and the McCann Health marketing office in South Africa.

    Summaries of the value chain situation analyses and communications landscape analysis are expected in February and will inform country-level work planning, investment cases, and the market-shaping
    strategy.

    The modeling team synthesized existing PrEP modeling work and shared it with USAID, WHO, and other MPii projects. The team is working with country partners and other PrEP modelers (within
    MPii projects and beyond) to identify needs and gaps in Kenya, South Africa and Zimbabwe. This will inform the project’s modeling priorities.


    Communications and dissemination. The communications team is creating an “International Programs” section on PrEPWatch.org that will highlight efforts and share tools from all five MPii projects to support HIV prevention product introduction. Existing South Africa, Kenya, and Zimbabwe pages will be built out with policies, guidance, and country-specific materials.

    OPTIONS, along with USAID, PEPFAR, and WHO, hosted “Adapting WHO guidelines on oral PrEP: What will it take?” at the November 2015 ICASA meeting in Zimbabwe, which was attended by
    approximately 130 people.

    The team is collaborating with WHO and other MPii projects on several workshop proposals for the AIDS 2016 conference in Durban.


  • POWER develops cost-effective and scalable models for implementation of ARV-based HIV prevention products for women.


    Preparing for formative work launch. POWER is preparing to launch the formative work, which includes in-depth interviews with young women and men, as well as key informant interviews with healthcare providers.

    All sites–DTHF in Cape Town (South Africa), Wits RHI in Johannesburg (South Africa), and KEMRI in Kisumu (Kenya)–are in the final stages of receiving regulatory approvals, recruiting/hiring interviewers
    and finalizing standard operating procedures (SOPs).

    Sites will begin training the interviewing teams in February and data collection will follow soon thereafter.


  • EMOTION increases uptake and correct and consistent use of ARV-based HIV prevention products by women at high risk of HIV infection using an end-user centered strategy.


    Project Kalahari preparation. EMOTION had teleconferences with other PrEP product developers (IPM, ViiV, Gilead) to understand design space for their respective products and lay out the qualitative data-gathering process.

    The team finalized the research plan and prepared product and design packaging prototypes to take to the field for Project Kalahari (Human Centered Design Study of End Users in Africa).


  • CHARISMA supports efforts to: increase women’s agency to safely use ARV-based HIV prevention, to engage male partners in HIV prevention, and to overcome harmful gender norms and reduce intimate partner violence (IPV).


    Social benefits-harms tool and intervention development. CHARISMA is working on a landscape analysis of grey and scientific literature on promising practices for IPV prevention, screening, referral, and support, focusing on IPV studies conducted in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda, and Malawi. This will identify the context-specific risk factors for IPV and violence against women.

    The team received IRB exemption to conduct secondary data analyses for VOICE, VOICE C, VOICE D, ASPIRE, MTN 015, and MTN 016. These analyses will examine how women reporting social harms (SH)/IPV experiences differed from other participants regarding adherence, relationship type, and other demographic variables. The team is preparing a concept to review, analyze, and report on male partner engagement in CAPRISA 008 and ASPIRE.

    The research team is awaiting ethics approval to conduct interviews with former ASPIRE participants, focus groups with providers, and surveys with women.


    Stakeholder engagement and scientific advisory group. CHARISMA identified key stakeholders globally and in South Africa and shared its list with OPTIONS.

    The team formed a scientific advisory group of gender, HIV, and gender-based violence experts.


  • GEMS informs policies and defines programmatic considerations related to use of ARV-based HIV prevention products and risk of resistance.


    Project start-up begins. GEMS organized project teams, activated stakeholders and partners, and set up communications.

    The lab team requested PrEP trials’ samples for assay development work.

    The modeling team is adapting the current individual-based HIV Synthesis Transmission model for the project.

    The policy team has identified potential members for its Policy and Implementation Steering Committee, which will convene in the coming months.

    The roll-out team is researching novel blood collection methods to measure resistance in individuals who seroconvert while on PrEP.




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