IHV and its AIDSRelief partners have provided AIDS care and prevention services to hundreds of thousands of people in developing countries. Many of the AIDSRelief sites are in the rural areas of Africa, where access to care is limited. AIDSRelief partners include Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the Catholic Medical Mission Board, and Interchurch Medical Assistance.
In addition to providing patients with life-saving Antiretroviral therapy (ART), the IHV provides medical education and training to doctors, healthcare workers and community leaders in PEPFAR countries. Education programs focus on the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, and promote abstinence and behavior change.
In 2004, the consortium received a $335 million dollar grant, of which $64 million was awarded to the University of Maryland. In 2007, the IHV received a $43 million PEPFAR grant to further IHV’s AIDS care and treatement programs in Nigeria.
AIDSRelief has placed 254,000 patients on life saving antiretroviral medications and currently have over 400,000 patients in HIV care services. With 200 staff working with our 240 local partner treatment facilities in these 9 countries, we have also introduced new paradigms for training and capacity building focusing on a clinical mentorship model that encourages learning along with real time patient care. We have assisted many governments in the development of their national guidelines and have advised the WHO, CDC and other global implementing partners on best practices for care and treatment.
Our therapeutic approach to the treatment of these patients is based on 4 principles which were developed after careful consideration of the capability of health systems and workers in many of the countries where we operate, availability of long term funding, and the eventual need for task shifting in caring for thousands and thousands of patients.
These principles are:
The program places a strong focus on a comprehensive continuum of care for the patient from the health facility to homes and communities and as a result of this, has continued to demonstrate low patient lost to follow-up rates of 4.2% and respectable cumulative patient mortality rates of 6.5%.
In furtherance of our role as a center for excellence in medical education and research, and with the AIDSRelief program as a facilitator, the IHV is continuing to expand its role in the education, training and mentoring of physicians in LMICs, always adhering to the IHV principle of ensuring that meaningful advances in the laboratories of medicine are translated as competently and expediently as possible – to the patients bedside.