Building the evidence-base

Alliance programming draws on a strong evidence-base of existing and emerging HIV research. We also contribute to this knowledge base by conducting research ourselves. We have recently contributed to three new pieces of published research and set up a partnership with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Barriers to ARV for PMTCT

In this peer reviewed article published in the Journal of the International AIDS Society in July, we report our findings from a systematic review of the barriers to uptake of anti-retroviral drugs (ARV) for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.

The study, jointly authored by Gitau Mburu and Kate Iorpenda from the Alliance, along with colleagues from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, shows that although provision of ARV drugs to mothers living with HIV is key to virtually eliminating vertical transmission of HIV, uptake of these drugs is unacceptably low in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

To read more about the challenges faced by HIV positive mothers and health providers, and what we recommend to policy makers, community-based organisations, health facility providers and researchers, download the full article here.

Role of community health workers in HIV care

This article published in September, also in the Journal of the International AIDS Society, reflects on the important roles of community health workers in HIV care in sub-Saharan Africa.

The study, jointly authored by Gitau Mburu from the Alliance along with colleagues from the University of Brighton, Family Health International Nigeria, University of Cape Town, University of East Anglia and the Uganda Research Unit on AIDS, shows clearly how community health workers contribute to effective HIV service delivery, thereby contributing to better patient and health systems outcomes.

To read more about the tasks that community health workers perform in HIV settings and the outcomes they contribute to, download the full article here.

A theory of change for sustaining community action

Whilst we see on a daily basis the benefits of the Alliance approach to community mobilisation, our challenge has been to provide a clear definition, and provide evidence for its impact on health and social political outcomes. In late 2012, we commissioned the London School of Economics and Political Science to examine and document the role of community mobilisation across Alliance HIV programming.

The report, Towards a theory of change: report on an interview study of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, is the result of 39 interviews which revealed that community mobilisation is vitally important to HIV and health, in particular for reaching people at higher risk of HIV, and for changing social norms and practices in relation to health and human rights.

The results of this research will be launched at an event to be held at the London School of Economics in London on 29 November 2013. Anyone interested in attending the seminar, or receiving a copy of the research report, should email mail@aidsalliance.org.

New research partnership

We are very excited about a new 18-month collaboration with the Faculty of Public Health and Medicine at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

The partnership has three objectives: research grant proposal development, secondary data analysis and technical guidance in research capacity and development.
The primary areas of interest for this collaboration are:

  • community mobilisation and civil society intervention in HIV prevention and treatment, especially in relation to treatment access and adherence amongst those in need
  • people who inject drugs and their access to HIV prevention, treatment and care
  • developing HIV prevention for men who have sex with men and men’s sexual health and rights interventions in African countries
  • linking sexual and reproductive health services with HIV prevention and treatment for key populations, especially young people.

Two Research Fellows from the London School will allocate a proportion of their time to this collaboration. We look forward to reporting on their progress in the coming months.