Disruption in HIV, Hepatitis and STI services due to COVID-19
COVID 19 has hindered physicians around the world to treat other infectious diseases like HIV. Travel has been restricted and the ability to get the right medications and therapies to people you need them. Attention has been placed on the global pandemic that has infected millions of people worldwide. Yes, it is the Corona Virus is killing people and need to be given the right amount of attention to slow the spread. We can not forget the other infectious diseases that need to keep under control. With this idea, the World Health Organization has put together a panel of expert to speak on this topic.
Dr. Meg Doherty is the Coordinator of Treatment and Care in the Department of HIV/AIDS at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva and provides overall technical and managerial support to treatment and care for adults, adolescents, children and pregnant women, as well as, the development of the consolidated global antiretroviral treatment guidelines and all technical updates related to HIV treatment and care. She leads a team of technical experts in the fields of adult, adolescent and paediatric HIV, EMTCT, TB/HIV collaborative activities, HIV service delivery, and laboratory and diagnostics for HIV. Dr. Doherty received her MD from Harvard Medical School and her MPH and PhD in Infectious Disease Epidemiology from JHU Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is board certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases.
Dr. Martina Penazzato is the paediatric lead for the HIV, Hepatitis and STIs Department of WHO Headquarter in Geneva. In her work for the WHO, in addition to providing a major contribution to several Guidelines development processes in the areas of HIV, TB and child health, she has set up surveillance projects to assist HIVDR in HIV-infected infants and provided technical assistance to several countries in the African region. In her current role, she leads the work of WHO on paediatric treatment and care and contributes to several global initiatives to improve access to better medicines for children as well as pregnant and lactating women.
Mary-Ann Davies is a Public Health Medicine Specialist and Paediatric Clinical Epidemiologist at the University of Cape Town, where she is Director of the Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Research (CIDER). She convenes the MPH module on Infectious Disease Epidemiology. She is joint Principal Investigator of IeDEA Southern Africa, together with Matthias Egger from the University of Bern in Switzerland. Her major research interests are paediatric HIV treatment and prevention, especially HIV cohort research to address key policy and implementation questions.
Salim S. Abdool Karim is a clinical infectious diseases epidemiologist who is widely recognised for his research contributions in HIV prevention and treatment. He is CAPRISA Professor for Global Health in the Department of Epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. He is also Director of the Centre for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa and Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University.
Countries around the world are reporting shortage and slowed supplies. We can not ignore countries that are dependent on medical supplies because they cannot manufacture the items need to treat illness. While COVID 19 is still ou there we need to find ways to these needed therapies to the right people so they can live and thrive along with the rest of the world. HIV and STI’s need to be kept under control so we do not multiple waves of infections with COVID 19.
What we learned from HIV To Help Contain COVID 19
HIV has provided a method for many healthcare systems to build databases of those you are infected so that important data can be tracked. Thing like contact tracing to find those people who may have been exposed so that symptoms can be monitored and then treated. South Africa has developed and model systems and has been able to examine the added risk of COVID to patients with HIV.
Listen to the press conference to learn more