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ViiV Healthcare commits nearly £4M in Positive Action for Children Fund grants for programmes focused on alleviating burden of HIV on women and children

- 80+ grantees among renewed small grants to build on successes and increase impact of ongoing efforts

- Programmes emphasise prevention, youth support and community engagement

LONDON, Nov. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- ViiV Healthcare announced today that it has awarded nearly £4 million to 99 projects in 26 countries through its Positive Action for Children Fund (PACF), aimed at improving the health and well-being of women, children and families affected by HIV. Collectively, PACF has awarded approximately £13.6M from 2010-2012 in support of 122 grantees.

Today's announcement extends funding for 2011 small grant awardees and technical assistance providers, to help support projects that continue to have an impact among the local communities they serve. The Positive Action for Children Fund renewed support for 84 community projects that are making a tangible difference in 21 countries where mothers and children are most affected by HIV.

Examples include:

  • As part of the Youth Impact project in Malawi, eight mobile HIV testing sessions have been initiated and 321 young men and women have been referred to prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) educational sessions, increasing awareness among this important population.
  • Through the Happy Children initiative in Zambia, programme directors state that 100 per cent of babies born within services covered by the project over the past year are currently receiving antiretroviral (ARV) prophylaxis within 72 hours of birth and these efforts have prioritised prevention in additional at-risk groups.
  • The Women Friendly Initiative (WFI) in Nigeria engaged health providers in training sessions focused on family planning, reproductive counselling and PMTCT among other clerical and data management support, contributing to the overall health and well-being of prenatal and antenatal care of women in the community.
  • By the end of June 2012, 2,300 individuals from the most at-risk populations were reached with HIV prevention messages as part of the YAWIA Uganda initiative.
  • Physicians for Social Justice in Nigeria has held 10 community engagement sessions over the course of one year with community stakeholders on the importance of PMTCT, and currently provides maternal and child health services to 12 communities.

"Through the Positive Action for Children Fund grants, we've seen how grassroots initiatives improve support and care for women, infants and children affected by HIV. Part of ViiV Healthcare's unique approach is providing valuable support to local community organisations that are making a difference on the ground for the communities in which they live. Programmes supported by PACF introduce necessary and relevant efforts that contribute to better understanding of the disease and more resources for those living with it," said Dr. Dominique Limet, CEO of ViiV Healthcare. "We're inspired by the work the grantees are doing and are proud of the impact they have had thus far."

Additionally, 15 new large grants have been awarded that focus on programmes to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV including:

  • Action for Community Driven Development (ACODDEV) in Uganda, which aims to strengthen community-based human resources to improve availability, accessibility and continuity of local PMTCT services.
  • Compassionate Swaziland will lead efforts to educate HIV-positive adolescent mothers and improve overall health and well-being.
  • ProjectCHILD-Malawi plans to roll-out a 36-month project to address and overcome causes of loss to follow-up of PMTCT services.
  • Rural communities in Nigeria will receive more accessible and affordable maternal services, as well as sexual reproductive health education for HIV-positive women of reproductive age through the South Saharan Social Development Organization (SSSDO).
  • The Songwa PMTCT project, run through Wild4life will establish a comprehensive community-driven PMTCT programme in a remote rural district in Zimbabwe, where no health or HIV services currently exist.

"PACF recognises a uniquely broad mix of organisations committed to improving the standard of access to care for key populations living in the countries with high prevalence of HIV. It is encouraging that these programmes have resulted in the delivery of sustainable, community-based services and support that have a positive impact for many people living with HIV," said Professor Catherine Peckham, PACF Board Chair.

AIDS has become a leading cause of illness and death among women of reproductive age in countries with a high burden of HIV infection. Just under 1000 children become infected with HIV every day, and 3.4 million children under 15 years of age are living with HIV, according to UNAIDS.(i) Despite recent progress in the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission, children in Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 90 per cent of children under 15 years of age that died of HIV-related causes in 2010.(i)

The next call for proposals for the Positive Action for Children Fund will be announced by the end of 2012. ViiV Healthcare aims to continue to invest in programmes at similar levels to provide ongoing support of the UNAIDS Global Plan Toward the Elimination of New HIV Infections Among Children by 2015 and Keeping Their Mothers Alive, with a goal of committing close to £30M by 2015. Candidates may register their interest here to receive a notification once the information is made available.

Please visit http://www.viivhealthcare.com/community/positive-action-for-children-fund/our-2012-grantees to find a complete list of 2012 grantees and to learn more about the Positive Action for Children Fund. To read more about how current PACF grantees are making an impact in the communities they serve, please visit www.viivhealthcareeffect.com.

About the Positive Action for Children Fund

The Positive Action for Children Fund was first announced in July 2009 and builds upon the foundation of the long-standing Positive Action programme, established in 1992. With an emphasis on community engagement, ViiV Healthcare's Positive Action programme will continue to support global efforts to address the challenges of HIV prevention, tackling stigma and discrimination, building capacity and treatment literacy.

Following extensive consultations with some of the sector's leading non-governmental organisations, practitioners and policy-makers in this field, the Fund focuses on grants that pursue the four elements of the World Health Organization's (WHO) strategic vision and comprehensive approach for addressing the mother-to-child transmission of HIV, under these four headings:

  • Increasing and improving primary prevention of HIV infection among women of childbearing age.
  • Delivering proper and equitable reproductive choices for people living with HIV/AIDS.
  • Interventions that prevent HIV transmission from a woman living with HIV to her infant. 
  • Improving the health and welfare of mothers living with HIV, their children and families by providing appropriate treatment, care and support.

A key focus of the Positive Action for Children Fund is to stimulate grassroots community action to deliver and support interventions, to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT), to bring us one step closer to eliminating the vertical transmission of HIV. Such work is closely aligned with the World Health Organization's vision for addressing mother-to-child transmission of HIV and works toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals set to reduce child mortality, improve maternal health and combat the spread of HIV.

About ViiV Healthcare

ViiV Healthcare is a global specialist HIV company established by GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK.L) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) to deliver advances in treatment and care for people living with HIV. Shionogi joined as a 10 per cent shareholder in October 2012. The company's aim is to take a deeper and broader interest in HIV/AIDS than any company has done before, and take a new approach to deliver effective and new HIV medicines as well as support communities affected by HIV. For more information on the company, its management, portfolio, pipeline and commitment, please visit www.viivhealthcare.com.

Media contacts

UK Media inquiries:

Camilla Bull

+ 44-(0)-20-8380-6226

Catherine Hartley

+ 44-(0)-20-8047-5616

US Media inquiries:

Marc Meachem


(i) "UNAIDS Fact Sheet." UNAIDS Believe It, Do It: Get the Facts. UNAIDS, 2009. Web. 3 Oct 2012. http://www.unaids.org/believeitdoit/get-the-facts.html.

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