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24 May 2021

2021- Year of Health and Care Workers 

The WHO has named 2021 the International Year of Health and Care Workers, in appreciation for the commitment and dedication of health providers in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. In Africa there have been major gaps in the COVID-19 response capacity, including human resources, protective equipment, and now, vaccines for health providers. However, this has not stopped the dedicated frontline health providers, working across sub-Saharan Africa, continuing to deliver HIV services for children, adolescents and young people despite the challenges.

In recognition of the remarkable dedication, sacrifices and work done by health providers across Africa, in fighting the double burden of COVID-19 and HIV, PATA joins the WHO in dedicating 2021 to frontline health providers. To put action to our recognition of health providers, we urgently call for global, national and local governmental support to ensure that frontline health providers in Africa have the resources they need, access to tools and are cared for, supported, and protected.   
Everyone has a part to play, click here to find out how you can stand up for and shine a light on health providers.

Celebrating International Nurses Day, 12th May 2021- PATA calls for all nurses to be central to the conversation and for all governments to adopt long-term workforce plans, providing much needed tools, training and protection for those on the frontline!

In the Spotlight 

In the face of a global health crisis, frontline health providers, implementing partners, and funders around the world have spent most of 2020 in reaction mode: shifting and recalibrating their programmes and services to ensure that the most vulnerable among us continue to receive the vital SRH and HIV services. In April 2020, PATA launched the Emergency Response Fund (ERF) to support local efforts and clinic-community collaboration in improving preparedness for addressing COVID-19 related setbacks. Click here to read the full COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund (ERF) Case Study Report.
The PATA 2020 Summit was held from 11-13 November 2020, under the theme Breakthrough and Build Back Together. This hybrid event brought together participants from across 27 countries, virtually and in person. The summit aimed to identify gaps in the HIV response and amplify breakthrough strategies, promote learning and linking, and call for improved access to training, tools, and safer working conditions for frontline health providers. Click here to read the full report.
Save the Date: PATA 2021 Summit
1-3 November
PATA REAL is a new and exciting regional platform for and by health care providers. It is a safe space for us to share REAL, unfiltered, day-to-day experiences and challenges in case finding, testing, initiating ART, retention and supporting children and adolescents on their treatment journey to achieve viral suppression and good health and wellbeing. The session on the 22nd April 2021 brought together over 100 providers, to discuss three case presentations, one of an 8-year-old, the other two adolescents, each of whom was living with HIV and facing specific clinical challenges. Click here to read the full report. 
PATA is excited to be part of the Global Accelerator for Paediatric Formulations Network (GAP-f), the WHO-hosted collaborative framework was created to respond to the paediatric treatment gap and provide access to #BetterDrugs4Kids. Click here to see the GAP-f website, or download the latest GAP-f newsletter here. 
TeleECHO™ is a webinar series brought to you by WHO on Pediatric & Adolescent HIV Treatment & Care. Hosted by WHO and partners, in collaboration with PATA.  These regular TeleECHO bring together health and care providers into the spotlight for strategic discussions, sharing of best practices and  updated guidelines, offering practical recommendations in the treatment and care of children and adolescents living with  HIV. Click here to register for the upcoming session on the 1st of June, 2021.
Uganda Network of Young People Living with HIV (UNYPA) hosted their fourth Y+ Summit from the 20th to 22nd April 2021, at hotel Africana in Kampala. The summit was supported by PATA alongside several partners, under the theme “Opening Opportunities for Young People Living with HIV". Click here to read PATA participation and reflections. 

PATA Programmes

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, PATA's work with READY+ continued expanding, with new opportunities and key lessons in being more flexible and adaptive.  Through working more closely with in country Technical Assistants (TAs), and developing online trainings, PATA has been able to continue supporting the work of READY+ during COVID-19 lockdowns. This new operational model will be carried into READY+2, the extended READY+ programme that will be implemented from 2021-2026. Click here to read the full update. 

The onset of COVID-19, lockdown and movement restrictions necessitated new ways of providing remote support to reach caregivers, children, adolescents and young people living with HIV to curb treatment interruption. PATA supported some of the ELMA Unfinished Business II consortium partner organisations; AIDS Foundation of South Africa (AFSA), ANOVA, Health Systems Trust, and Wits RHI, to implement what we initially termed the Virtual Support Project (VSP). Click here to read key lessons and reflections from offering remote support. 

Take Action 

Sign the Civil Society Declaration for 2021 HLM on HIV/AIDS!
There is a crisis in the HIV response. Over the last five years, the world has failed to meet the targets for prevention, diagnosis and treatment set out in the 2016 Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS. The 2021 high-level meeting on HIV/AIDS (and the Political Declaration resulting from it)– is the last chance to create sustained momentum for the policies, programmes and funding that are needed to end HIV by 2030. We invite you to sign The Civil Society Declaration to support and support civil society advocacy here:
PATA calls for a peoples vaccine that prioritises health care providers!
The unequal roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines has become a global outrage, and threatens the years of work invested in the HIV response. The 11th of March 2021, was the People’s Vaccine Global Day of Action, when organisation all around the word came together to demand equal access to COVID-19 vaccines for all. Understanding that those at greatest risk of contracting COVID-19 are the frontline healthcare providers, PATA calls for a peoples vaccine that prioritises health care providers everywhere, because no one is safe until all of us are safe! Support the #PeoplesVaccine call to action on twitter and Facebook.
Adolescent parents affected by HIV and their children are a critical and growing population often left out of services and support due to stigma, discrimination, and inequalities. Many are at greater risk of HIV infection as well as poverty, violence, exclusion, poor education, and early childhood developmental delays. With governments around the world deciding on the new commitments for the Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS, now is the time to prioritise adolescent parents affected by HIV and put #YoungFamiliesFirst.

Click here to read  the full recommendations for donors, governments and civil society and to find out how you can take action. 
Stigma towards people living with HIV, key populations, and their communities, is a constant threat to their lives and wellbeing, and to the goal of ending the HIV epidemic. In a new initiative designed to celebrate the diversity of lives, achievements, and dreams of people living with and affected by HIV, GNP+ has launched a dynamic online global campaign titled #Morethan. Find out how you can get involved here.

Resources Desk

Prioritising children adolescents and caregivers affected by HIV in the COVID 19 Response
This policy brief is for global donors and policy makers. It sets out what global policy changes are required, based on the latest evidence related to children and adolescents affected by HIV, and those working alongside them.
End Inequalities. End AIDS. Global AIDS Strategy 2021-2026
This Global AIDS Strategy is a bold new approach to use an inequalities lens to close the gaps that are preventing progress towards ending AIDS. The Global AIDS Strategy aims to reduce these inequalities that drive the AIDS epidemic and prioritize people who are not yet accessing life-saving HIV services. 
WHO Updated Recommendations on HIV Prevention, Infant Diagnosis, Antiretroviral Initiation and Monitoring
These guidelines provide updated and new recommendations on prevention, infant diagnosis, treatment monitoring and antiretroviral therapy (ART) among those initiating treatment for tuberculosis (TB). The recommendations developed for this guideline will be integrated with the updated consolidated HIV guidelines that will be released in the second half of 2021.


Call for Youth Expressions of Interest to engage in the High Level Meeting.
The PACT in partnership with AHF, is looking for expressions of interest from young people across all UNAIDS regions, interested in fully engaging with the HLM. PACT will be providing financial support  to cover data costs and other potential expenses.
#INTEREST Conference is a scientific conference for #HIV in Africa, bringing together scientists, researchers & building a community of African physicians involved in HIV treatment & prevention.
10th SA AIDS Conference 2021
9 - 10 June 2021

The 10th SA AIDS Conference is split up in two parts. PART 1 is a VIRTUAL CONFERENCE and will take place from 9 - 10 June 2021. PART 2 is a HYBRID conference will will take place in March 2022, under the theme: Ending AIDS amid Pandemics.
11th IAS Conference on HIV Science 
18-21 July 2021
This biennial conference presents the critical advances in basic, clinical and operational research that moves science into policy and practice. Registration now open!
International Workshop on HIV & Adolescence 2021
29-30 September & 6-7 October
The International Workshop on HIV & Adolescence 2021 will take place as a virtual program over 4 days. This workshop is set up as an inclusive summit for multidisciplinary experts working with adolescents affected by HIV. With the objective of sharing experiences, knowledge, and best practices to define a pathway forward for optimizing the care of adolescents living with HIV. 
1st International Paediatric HIV Symposium in Africa (IPHASA)
17–18 November 2021
IPHASA will convene for the first time in 2021 by means of a virtual meeting, under the theme "Leaving no child with HIV behind: Efficiencies, innovation and stakeholder engagement in service delivery." The overall objective is to facilitate the translation of evidence and good practices in the paediatric HIV response for implementation and adaptation across the African continent.
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