6th IAS Conference On HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention


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MOPE494 - Poster Exhibition

Evidence based advocacy led to changes in policy implementation

S. Mehta1, P. Buggineni2

1India HIV/AIDS Alliance, Programmes and Policy, New Delhi, India, 2India HIV/AIDS AllianceAIDS Alliance, New Delhi, India

Background: Alliance India initiated CHAHA, a community based care and support programme for children and families in four high prevalence states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu, Maharashtra and Manipur in India. Facilitating access to CTX for HIV exposed children was an important advocacy activity in CHAHA. Despite the fact that NACO policies on pediatric ART and on EID clearly mention the need and free availability of CTX for children who are pre-ART registered, provision of CTX remains limited. This was due to lack of awareness and education among parents, inadequate orientation of medical officers, and interruptions in drug supply.
Methods: ARTC and ICTC were used as critical entry points for increasing awareness among parents and caregivers. Through the development of IEC materials and concerted awareness raising campaigns such as the Global AIDS Week of Action, CHAHA was able to fill this gap and increase access to these services. Through regular information sharing, monthly district coordination meetings, targeted advocacy events helped to successfully advocate with the service providers.
Results: Advocacy on access to CTX prophylaxis for HIV exposed children led to 60% of children accessing the service through public health facilities as opposed to 32%. NACO reoriented ART medical officers, and ICTC counselors on important benefits of CTX for HIV exposed children and established supply chain management system to have uninterrupted supply of the drug in both syrup and tablet forms.
Conclusion: Systematic advocacy coupled with robust evidence base will lead to bring changes in policy implementation. Evidence based advocacy through tracking of data from the field along with demand generation at community level, regular consultation with SACS and NACO helped achieving the results. The two - way sharing of resultant change was also a motivation for community to improve health seeking behaviour and for stakeholders to continue providing good quality services.

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