Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) October 04, 2013
The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) today announced the launch of an integrated HIV/AIDS program, Project Kimia, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Project Kimia will utilize prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV services as an entry point to reach the wider population with comprehensive health services including general HIV care, support, and treatment; screening and referral for sexual and gender-based violence; and improved TB testing and treatment for HIV patients. Project Kimia will also expand HIV services to TB screening and treatment centers.
The project is funded by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). It will increase access to HIV services in Kinshasa and Orientale Provinces by supporting 136 sites in the first year with further expansion during the next four years.
“The only way we can hope to turn the tide against the HIV/AIDS epidemic is by concentrating our resources on our most vulnerable populations – women and children,” said John Ditekemena, M.D., country director for EGPAF’s DRC program. “Project Kimia will provide access to a comprehensive yet centralized continuum of HIV care.”
Improving access to HIV services is critical in DRC, where according to the National AIDS Control Program (PNLS), only 10 percent of eligible patients are receiving antiretroviral treatment for HIV.
Borrowed from the local Lingala expression “Kimia,” meaning “without troubles,” Project Kimia expands upon EGPAF’s current work under the Malamu Project to ensure that individuals and communities in the region remain healthy and “without troubles.”
Since 2002, EGPAF’s DRC program has collaborated with the DRC Ministry of Health to provide men, women, and children with access to comprehensive HIV services.
About the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation
EGPAF is a global leader in the fight against pediatric HIV/AIDS, and has reached more than 17 million women with services to prevent transmission of HIV to their babies. It currently works at more than 6,800 sites and in 15 countries to implement prevention, care, and treatment services; to further advance innovative research; and to execute global advocacy activities that bring dramatic change to the lives of millions of women, children, and families worldwide. For more information, visit pedaids.org.