UMDNJ's FXB Center experts showcase its success in helping African countries stem HIV @ this week's AIDS conference
Article originally featured on Newswise.
The XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., next week (July 22–27) is bringing HIV/AIDS back into the spotlight. At the conference, leaders from the worlds of science, diplomacy, politics, and philanthropy will gather to discuss the strides made in the HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.
The François-Xavier Bagnoud (FXB) Center at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey–School of Nursing has been at the forefront of these initiatives since 1989. One of its success stories is its work to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) in Botswana.
“The FXB Center has worked closely with the Botswana PMTCT Program for nearly a decade. We have witnessed first-hand the resolve and dedication of the Ministry of Health staff, the nation’s nurses, and other health workers to overcome HIV,” says Carli Rogosin, Program Manager–Botswana, who has made several visits to Botswana on behalf of the FXB Center. “As the number of HIV infections in newborns and infants has declined, we take great pride in knowing that our technical assistance, including guidelines, job aids, and training workshops, has helped to counteract the epidemic and improve the lives of families and communities all over Botswana.”
The southern African nation — which has one of the highest HIV rates in the world, with approximately 25 percent of all adults in the country infected — also has the most comprehensive and effective treatment programs on the continent. And part of the government’s plan begins with the country’s most vulnerable citizens, its children. Over the past decade, the nation has reduced the rate of transmission of HIV from infected mothers to their babies from 40 percent to under 4 percent.
Since 2003, the FXB Center has been integral in Botswana’s aggressive efforts. The FXB Center — which provides clinical care, education and technical assistance in the United States and globally to support capacity building to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic — has collaborated with the Botswana Ministry of Health, the Botswana Institute of Health Sciences, CDC Botswana, University Research Co., and other partners to provide assistance in the following areas:
• Development of PMTCT guidelines for care and treatment
• In-service PMTCT training curricula for healthcare providers
• Healthcare provider development and retention
• Integration of HIV and reproductive health services
The Botswana initiative is representative of the overall mission of the FXB Center, which has focused on clinical care, HIV prevention, provider training and technical assistance in the state of New Jersey and throughout the US since 1989 and for global partners since 1990. The FXB Botswana program is primarily funded by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.