Since June 2016, MPii has worked closely with the USAID/Namibia mission and Namibian Ministry of Health and Social Services to provide technical assistance and support for the country’s HIV prevention programs.
Namibia’s National Strategic Framework (NSF) for HIV/AIDS emphasizes a comprehensive package of HIV prevention services. In July 2016, representatives from USAID/HQ and OPTIONS met with the USAID mission and the Namibian government, including the Ministry of Health and PEPFAR implementing partners, to provide support for the country’s HIV prevention initiatives. Since then, MPii’s virtual and in-person technical assistance has included reviewing the country’s anti-retroviral therapy (ART) guidelines, sharing lessons and tools from other countries in the region, hosting a Namibian delegation in South Africa to visit PrEP delivery sites, identifying regulatory gaps in having drugs approved as PrEP, and attending Namibia’s first AIDS conference in December 2016.
With MPii’s ongoing technical assistance and support, Namibia’s fifth edition of national HIV/AIDS guidelines were released on World AIDS Day 2016 and include a chapter providing recommendations for oral PrEP for people at substantially high risk of contracting HIV. Recently, the Namibian Medical Research Council (NMRC) announced the regulatory approval for generic oral PrEP, which will help the planned PrEP activities under PEPFAR in the country.
Namibia has also undertaken a data review of 43,000 sero-discordant partnerships to inform future programming for this population. Additionally, PrEP training protocols have been integrated into the national curriculum for nurse-initiated management of ART and national oral PrEP targets have been set for PEPFAR. Namibia is the first country to create national targets in its NSF that consider the overall prevention product pipeline during a five-year period.