The Coalition for Children Affected by AIDS was created because children were being left behind in the response to the epidemic. In 2004, frustrated at the lack of attention paid to children at the International AIDS Conference, a group of global health leaders — the Coalition’s founding members — came together to drive increased focus on this extremely vulnerable population.

One critical tool for doing this work was our biennial symposium. Beginning in 2008, in the days leading up to the AIDS Conference, the Coalition, in partnership with the Teresa Group, hosted the Symposium in order to draw attention to children as a priority population. We have decided not to have the usual symposium for AIDS 2018, but instead to engage with a broader range of stakeholders and events before and during the conference.

As we consider the agenda for AIDS 2018, the Coalition is extremely encouraged to see children as a central area of focus in the discussions. We have come a long way.

To be clear, we are by no means done yet:

  • Only half of exposed babies are tested for HIV by the time they are two months old;
  • Of the 1.8 million children under 15 years of age living with HIV, only half are on treatment;
  • AIDS is the second leading cause of death among adolescents globally and the leading cause of death among adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Coalition’s mission has not wavered since our creation. But, as the agenda for the AIDS Conference has evolved, so has our approach to pursuing that mission. This year, we will be leveraging the efforts of the International AIDS Society, as well as those of our partners, to reach a wider set of stakeholders in and around the conference. Importantly, we are also eager to amplify the many activities planned by our Members. Their engagement and dialogue at AIDS 2018 is essential to elevating children on the agenda.

Our expanded footprint in Amsterdam includes participation in several pre-conference activities:

  • Multiple Members are speaking at the pediatric HIV pre-conference all day 20-21st July
  • Coalition Members Lisa Bohmer, Lucie Cluver, Shaffiq Essajee and Lorraine Sherr, together with Ambassador Clara Banya, are presenting at the pre-conference on uninfected HIV-exposed children on 22nd July
  • Ambassador Dudu Dlamini is participating in the Sex Workers pre-conference on 22nd July
  • ViiV and Pediatric AIDS Treatment for Africa (PATA) are hosting a pre-conference event titled “C3 Collaborathon: Collaborating to drive extraordinary and sustainable results” Sunday, 22nd July from 08:30 – 16:00 in room G102-103 of RAI.

We will also have a strong presence during the main conference days:

  • The Coalition and the ViiV Positive Action for Children Fund have a joint, two-hour Satellite Symposium on the Sustainable Development Goals and the Super Fast-Track targets at which we will also launch a joint PACF Challenge Prize
  • Coalition Ambassador, Clara Banya, along with Member, Lucie Cluver, will be speaking in the non-abstract special session on children, entitled Prioritized yet dying: addressing the needs of children and adolescents living with HIV
  • In collaboration with the International AIDS Society, the Coalition is sponsoring the Children’s Research Prize
  • We look forward to hosting visitors at our Networking Zone in the Global Village

Coalition members will also be presenting at a number of sessions at the Conference:

Presentations and Workshops

  • HIV Exposed Uninfected Children and Adolescents (L. Cluver and L. Sherr)
  • Effective community engagement: how communities and health facilities can jointly  improve eMTCT and paediatric HIV service delivery, Wednesday, 25 July 2018, from 2:30 PM to 5:00 PM, RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre Emerald Room (PATA, PACF and Aidsfonds)
  • The nuts and bolts of effective community engagement: building bridges between communities and health facilities to improve eMTCT and paediatric HIV service delivery (Aidsfond and ViiV)
  • Paediatric HIV workshop plenary on social protection and adolescents (L. Cluver)

Oral poster presentations

  • The reality of viral suppression among ART-inititiated adolescents in South Africa (L. Cluver)
  • Socio-structural protection from internalized HIV stigma among South African adolescents living with HIV: The potential of clinic-community collaborations for stigma reduction (L. Cluver)
  • Cash+Care: Parenting support and violence reduction programme associated with reductions in adolescent HIV-risks in South Africa: A cluster randomized trial of a (L. Cluver)
  • DREAMS and 4Children-implemented programme ‘Parenting for Lifelong Health’ (L. Cluver)

Posters

  • Adherence misfits: Divergent perspectives on ART-defaulting among healthcare providers and HIV-positive adolescents (L. Cluver)
  • Clinic, cash and care: Prospective predictors of 2-year ART-adherence amongst 1000 HIV+ adolescents in South Africa (L. Cluver and L. Sherr)
  • Ending AIDS: Harmonising the role of Adolescents and Young People Living with HIV (A/YPLHIV) networks in Africa, PATA, International AIDS Alliance, AIDSfonds, Y+, AY+
  • Exploring postnatal depression in women with HIV in Zimbabwe (L. Sherr)
  • Poor relationships dynamics predict high HIV-transmission risk among adolescents living with HIV – quantitative findings from a longitudinal cohort in South Africa (L. Cluver)
  • Postnatal depression in women with HIV in Zimbabwe (L. Sherr)
  • Prevalence and cross-sectional correlates of cognitive difficulties among HIV-positive adolescents in South Africa  (L. Cluver)
  • Role of infant nutritional status (stunting) on early cognitive development: cross sectional study in Zimbabwe (L. Sherr)
  • The power of peers: Multi-country analysis of adolescent viral suppression in sub-Saharan Africa (L. Cluver)
  • They are not responsible enough to use protection’: The blind spot of stigma and discrimination towards young people in healthcare settings (ViiV/PATA)
  • Tracking through Teaching: Using schools to reach the first 90 for adolescents living with HIV (L. Cluver and L. Sherr)