Welcome to the Adolescent HIV Treatment Coalition
HIV-related conditions are estimated to be the number two cause of death among adolescents (10-19 years) globally and the number one cause in Africa although HIV-related deaths are decreasing in all other groups. The poor quality of, and retention in, services for adolescents is well documented, and there is an urgent need to improve service delivery.
The independent Adolescent HIV Treatment Coalition (ATC), hosted by the International AIDS Society, is a diverse network that advocates for accessible quality HIV treatment and care for adolescents living with HIV. The ATC is comprised of a wide range of stakeholders, from global to regional networks of people living with HIV, international and national non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, researchers, research cohorts and treatment advocacy organizations. It capitalizes on collaborations between stakeholders to fill some of the urgent gaps in addressing the treatment and care needs of adolescents living with HIV.
Its formation marked a renewal of efforts to address some of the structural barriers that prevent governments from fulfilling adolescents’ right to health.
The Adolescent HIV Treatment Coalition is a diverse community united in its advocacy to make quality treatment and care available for all adolescents living with HIV.
The coalition aims to promote advocacy under four key themes, identified by coalition partners:
- Meaningful engagement of adolescents living with HIV
- Differentiated service delivery for adolescents living with HIV
- Optimization of treatment options for adolescents
- Strategic information and data
Meet the team
Julian Kerboghossian: Global youth advocate and activist with a focus on HIV and AIDS and gender and sexual reproductive health and rights. Born in Lebanon in 1991, Julian earned a BA in banking and finance and a Masters in Business Administration. He started working on HIV in Lebanon in 2010, gaining wide experience with private sector organizations, global networks of key populations and people living with HIV advocating for humans rights locally, regionally and globally. After serving in several global organizations, Julian brought his experience back to his region and co-founded SIBA Mena, the first youth-led regional network in the Middle East and North Africa around sexual and reproductive health and rights and HIV. Julian joined the ATC in March 2020.
The ATC Steering Committee supports the broader coalition in decision making and accountability. Alongside the steering committee, the ATC’s wide range of active members is expected to play a large role in decision making and institution building.
Members of the steering committee.
International AIDS Society
International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC Global)
The Global Network of People living with HIV (GNP+)
The Global Network of Young People Living with HIV (Y+ Global)
Paediatric Adolescent Treatment Africa (PATA)
Jovenes Positivos LAC
The ATC has ensured the presence of adolescents and young people living with HIV in spaces for decision making that affects their lives. It has called for meaningful effective youth leadership in the HIV response.
In order to provide guidance on engaging adolescents and young people living with HIV in the response, the ATC published a viewpoint article titled “Engaging adolescents with HIV to ensure better health and more informed research” in the Journal of the International AIDS Society special issue, “Transitioning adolescents through paediatric into adult HIV care: Where are we now?”.
PrEP think-tank meeting>
The ATC is focused on ensuring that adolescents and young people are represented in key spaces throughout the HIV response. The International Treatment Preparedness Coalition and USAID held a two-day think-tank meeting in May 2017 to address the needs for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in various key affected populations, including adolescents. The ATC, represented by International Civil Society Support, presented the coalition’s recommendations on PrEP and adolescents and shared experiences of our members concerning PrEP for adolescents in different settings throughout the world. Read more about the PrEP think-tank meeting.
Age-disaggregated data advocacy
One of the ATC’s four workstreams focuses on strategic information and data. It is co-led by The International AIDS Society Collaborative Initiative for Paediatric HIV Education and Research (CIPHER) and UNAIDS. The overall goal of this workstream is to strategically use data to improve services for and health outcomes of adolescents living with HIV.
It aims to ensure accountability that data collected on adolescents with HIV are proactively used to characterize their engagement in testing and treatment cascades, as well as to improve services to address coverage gaps to improve health outcomes. The ATC advocated at the 9th IAS Conference on HIV Science in Paris (IAS 2017) for age-disaggregated data: it included a slide loop in the conference rooms that called for governments to disaggregate their data by age group. The slide was developed with the support of UNAIDS and CIPHER.
Meaningful engagement of adolescents and young people in national and local HIV programming
The Adolescent HIV Treatment Coalition, along with the Child Survival Working Group, the International AIDS Society, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, PATA, Mzantsi Wakho, UNICEF and WHO, developed a publication, Meaningful engagement of adolescents and young people in national and local HIV programming.
A stakeholder in adolescent HIV research
Understanding the importance of community participation in research development, the ATC has worked closely with research cohorts and institutions to enhance their community reach, as well as to evaluate opportunities to develop new research protocols
Global research agendas for paediatric and adolescent HIV
The ATC took part in the global paediatric and adolescent research prioritization process led by the World Health Organization and CIPHER. The agenda will help focus future research and funding to inform policy and programming and ensure better outcomes for children and adolescents living with HIV. As a member of the working group, the ATC helped by supporting the development of the research prioritization process and took part in the launch for the global agendas at IAS 2017. Read more here: Global research agendas for paediatric and adolescent HIV.
BREATHER Plus trials
As a stakeholder in the adolescent HIV response, the ATC endorsed the development of the BREATHER Plus trials to develop short-cycle therapy trials in Uganda, Kenya and South Africa. BREATHER Plus is a randomized open-label three-arm trial evaluating the efficacy, safety and acceptability of weekends off dolutegravir-based antiretroviral therapy (ART) and monthly long-acting injectable ART.
Engagement of adolescents and young people living with HIV as a pillar to end the HIV epidemic.
In order to reduce the mortality of adolescents and young people living with HIV, the policy barriers that hinder their access to treatment and care must be addressed. In collaboration with stakeholders, the ATC’s approach to addressing global policy barriers on adolescents and young people living with HIV lies in developing a multi-stakeholder global advocacy agenda that includes adolescents and young people living with HIV in every step of the process. By understanding their needs and engaging them in the development of the agenda, we ensure accountability and ownership.
Intergenerational Summit for Positive Youth Leadership
The summit aimed to foster a dialogue among positive youth leadership in the HIV response to understand the status of the global spaces that impact and engage young people living with HIV and leverage solidarity and action to improve the engagement and development of networks of adolescents and young people living with HIV across the world.
For more information on the summit, please download the full report.
Differentiated service delivery for adolescents living with HIV
As part of our work in differentiated service delivery (DSD), the coalition developed four infographic video stories to exemplify the importance of DSD for adolescents. The video series features Jane, Vincent, Namusoke and Poon, who share their stories and explain some of the challenges they face as adolescents living with HIV and how DSD supports them.
Watch the video series here