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ViiV Healthcare announces new grants in support of ending mother to child transmission of HIV
Landmark number of grants awarded for 2015 as the Positive Action for Children Fund hits 5 year milestone
London, United Kingdom, 27 November, 2014 – The Positive Action for Children Fund (PACF) is proud to announce 103 grants for 2015 totalling £5 million. 54 new grants and 49 extensions will be funded to support community responses to help end mother to child transmission of HIV thereby delivering crucial services to mothers, children and HIV affected families.
PACF partners with local organisations working to improve the health and wellbeing of women and children affected by HIV, and the communities they live in. All PACF projects work to strengthen ties between these communities, local health systems and governments, so that more families have access to information, prevention measures, testing and care for HIV. Together these interventions safeguard women’s and their families’ health in an effort to meet the targets set out in the Global Plan towards the elimination of new infections among children by 2015 and keeping their mothers alive.
PACF partners address a range of factors related to mother to child transmission of HIV in their community, ranging from promoting women’s and girls’ access to education and health services, to testing infants early for HIV, to improving retention of mothers in local HIV services. According to the Global Plan statistics, the total number of new HIV infections in children was halved between 2009 and 2011 in low- and middle-income countries. The Global Plan predicts that by 2015, the number of children acquiring HIV infection can be reduced by 90% from the baseline year of 2009.
In 2015, more than 50 organisations will be partnering with PACF for the first time. Thanks to these new partnerships, PACF will be reaching into previously unsupported countries, including Togo, Angola and Colombia. Their work will extend into 25 countries.
“It has been a rewarding year for PACF in terms of the quality, number and geographical coverage of grants awarded with increased focus on the support of small scale projects,” said PACF Board Chair Catherine Peckham.
Of the 103 new and extended partnerships announced for 2015, almost 90 partners are community based organisations focused on smaller initiatives, showing an ever stronger trend towards supporting localized projects. PACF aims to reach key populations that are often in rural areas and are underserved by health facilities.
For those community based organisations in need of support to sustain their work, PACF provides unique capacity-building assistance through one-on-one mentorship with experts in the HIV sector. These groups to strengthen those groups and further project success. This special attention enables community based organisations to strengthen and sustain their programming, as well as extend HIV prevention and treatment services, and antenatal care to more people who need it.
“Supporting projects that bring real change for HIV-affected communities is the reason ViiV founded PACF in the first place,” said ViiV CEO Dominique Limet, “We are proud to be partnering with such groups across the world that are bringing this to fruition. They can really play an essential role into the mission we share. ViiV Healthcare is absolutely committed to communities affected by HIV and AIDS.”
About the Global Plan and women and children living with HIV.
The Global Plan, launched by UNAIDS and the United States Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, includes two ambitious targets for 2015: reduce the number of children newly infected with HIV by 90%; and reduce the number of pregnancy-related deaths among women living with HIV by 50%.
According to the Global Plan, about 390,000 children become newly infected with HIV in low- and middle-income countries every year, because they are born to mothers living with HIV. In contrast, the number of new HIV infections among children in high-income countries is virtually zero.
About 330,000 children were newly infected with HIV in 2011, almost half the number in 2003, when the number of children acquiring HIV infection peaked at 570,000. With accelerated efforts, the Global Plan predicts the number of children acquiring HIV infection can be reduced by 90% by 2015 from the baseline year of 2009.
Without treatment, up to 40% of babies born to HIV-positive mothers will start life infected, and almost half of them will die before they are two years old.
About the Positive Action for Children Fund
In 2009, ViiV Healthcare committed to invest £50 million in the PACF over ten years. Now entering its fifth year, PACF has contributed more than £24 million to support families in HIV-affected communities. Today PACF funds over 200 projects on four continents.
PACF’s efforts align to UNAIDS' Global Plan and the World Health Organisation’s prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) Strategy, both of which aim to eliminate new HIV infections among children and keep their mothers alive. PACF also aims to alleviate the impact of HIV and AIDS on women and children’s health by supporting interventions that engage affected communities, developing their capacity to participate and lead.
About ViiV Healthcare
ViiV Healthcare is a global specialist HIV company established in November 2009 by GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) dedicated to delivering advances in treatment and care for people living with HIV. Shionogi joined as a 10% shareholder in October 2012. The company’s aim is to take a deeper and broader interest in HIV/AIDS than any company has done before and take a new approach to deliver effective and new HIV medicines, as well as support communities affected by HIV. For more information on the company, its management, portfolio, pipeline, and commitment, please visit www.viivhealthcare.com.
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GlaxoSmithKline cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements: GSK cautions investors that any forward-looking statements or projections made by GSK, including those made in this announcement, are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Factors that may affect GSK's operations are described under Item 3.D “Risk factors” in the company's Annual Report on Form 20-F for 2013.
 Website link to Global Plan: http://www.unaids.org/sites/default/files/media_asset/JC2385_ProgressReportGlobalPlan_en_0.pdf