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The University of Washington Global Center for Integrated Health of Women, Adolescents and Children (Global WACh), the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), 1,000 Days, and PATH formed a partnership to explore the relationship between HIV and nutrition, particularly during the 1,000 days from a woman’s pregnancy to her child’s second birthday.
These four organizations collaborated to capitalize on their collective expertise in HIV research, nutrition, policy, and advocacy to create several policy briefs. These briefs will be used to inform policymakers and stakeholders of the importance of integrated nutrition programming on the effectiveness of HIV care and treatment programs in the developing world.
Two Fellows from the University of Washington’s Department of Global Health and Evans School of Public Affairs are researching and developing the policy briefs. They are featured below.
Emily Hansen is a second-year MPA student at the UW Evans School of Public Affairs where she will also pursue a Certificate of Nonprofit Management. Emily is also serving as the 2012-2013 Board Fellow at the Seattle Repertory Theatre in Seattle. Prior to attending Evans, Emily graduated with a BA in International Business and a double minor in Economics and Political Science from Western Washington University. After graduating from Western, Emily moved to DC to serve as a Legislative Intern for Senator Patty Murray, where she worked closely with the health care legislative staff. Following her stint on the Hill, Emily worked for several years at Mathematica Policy Research in DC as a Program Associate. At Mathematica, Emily completed many education and health care research project tasks, helped with business and strategic development, served as project manager for a FNS research project, and budgeted for proposal projects, among other things. She is very excited to get engaged with this PEPFAR project and learn more about future opportunities within this area.
Vijay graduated from Brown University in 2008 with a Bachelors Degree in biology. In May 2009, he started working with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) in Uganda as the program manager for PMTCT (Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission) and Pediatric HIV. During his two years in Uganda, Vijay supported the Ministry of Health to strengthen the national PMTCT and Pediatric HIV programs by developing initiatives to improve clinic systems at health facilities and strengthening central-level program management. From May 2011-April 2012, Vijay worked with CHAI in Swaziland on an ambitious project to scale up antiretroviral treatment (ART) to 90% of HIV-positive individuals. He managed several initiatives including expansion of nurse-led ART provision, the use of Mobile Health technology to improve patient retention, and implementation of HIV point-of-care HIV diagnostic devices.
Vijay is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Health (MPH) at the University of Washington in the Department of Global Health. Vijay hails from Boston, and in his free time he enjoys hiking, playing basketball, and traveling.
In the last decade, significant funds have been invested in HIV prevention, care, and treatment programs, leading to dramatic increases in access to life-saving treatment and dramatic reductions of HIV transmission from mother to baby. With the focus of global HIV funding now shifting from scale-up of treatment services to sustainable, integrated programs that can achieve greater long-term survival outcomes, provision of sufficient nutritional support to HIV-infected individuals becomes an even more vital consideration: as long as people living with HIV are severely malnourished, HIV care and treatment programs are unlikely to achieve their ultimate long-term goals. Thus, it is imperative that policymakers incorporate greater nutritional support into HIV programming.
The policy briefs aim to inform policymakers and other HIV and nutrition stakeholders about the ways in which HIV and malnutrition interact to compromise health and survival of HIV-positive mothers and children, and how greater nutritional support for HIV-positive mothers and children can improve health outcomes while saving costs in the long run. The policy briefs include research and findings about:
In addition to a review of primary and secondary research literature, the policy briefs have been informed by interviews with a range of stakeholders, including health workers at HIV clinics in Africa, academic experts in the fields of nutrition and HIV, representatives from aid agencies, and officers from non-governmental organizations implementing HIV programs.