FAITH-BASED ACTION FOR SCALING UP TESTING AND TREATMENT FOR EPIDEMIC RESPONSE (FASTER)
The Faith-Based Action for Scaling Up Testing and Treatment for Epidemic Response project, or FASTER, mobilizes partners in government, civil society and faith-based organizations to catalyze progress toward achieving viral suppression with children and adolescents.
|Location||Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe|
|Time frame||01 April 2019–
29 September 2021
|Goal||Children and adolescents achieve viral suppression|
MOTIVATION FOR GOING FASTER
UNAIDS estimates that over half of all children currently living with HIV still need to be identified and enrolled in treatment.
HOW WE GO FASTER
While the Global HIV response has had many successes, reaching children and adolescents with antiretroviral care has been a persistent challenge.
FASTER is using three primary strategies to improve the pediatric and adolescent testing and treatment cascade.
Strategy 1: Reduce Structural Barriers to testing and treatment that are beyond the patient’s or caregiver’s control, such as the regulatory and policy environment, supply chain, access to care, human resources, poor linkage between testing and treatment, and other service-delivery related barriers.
Strategy 2: Expand Innovation by accelerating adoption and scale-up of new or novel approaches to improve pediatric case-finding, including screening tools and other testing methods.
Strategy 3: Scale Up What Works by expanding use of proven approaches and promoting new products, tools and approaches backed by evidence to maximize impact.
WHERE WE GO FASTER
Based on the countries with highest unmet pediatric need, FASTER is active in Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
WHAT FASTER DOES
The FASTER initiative is focused on six priority actions across the pediatric and adolescent testing and treatment cascade, agreed upon by a core set of stakeholders in the 2017 Rome Action Plan.
PRIORITY ACTION 1: STREAMLINE REGULATORY APPROVALS
FASTER is working with government ministries of health to ensure that new drugs and diagnostics for children are able to be rolled out more quickly.
PRIORITY ACTION 2: INTEGRATE MINISTRY OF HEALTH AND FAITH-BASED ORGANIZATION SERVICE DELIVERY
FASTER is creating a communication and data systems bridge between government and faith-based clinics to improve interoperability of testing and treatment services.
PRIORITY ACTION 3: EXPAND DIAGNOSTIC PLATFORMS
FASTER is expanding diagnostic platforms to improve timely HIV and TB diagnoses in infants.
PRIORITY ACTION 4: EVALUATE NOVEL HIV TESTING APPROACHES
FASTER is evaluating the effectiveness, feasibility and acceptability new testing approaches such as caregiver-assisted oral fluid-based HIV index testing of young children.
PRIORITY ACTION 5: IMPLEMENT VALIDATED HIV RISK SCREENING TOOLS
FASTER is assisting health systems with the roll-out of validated HIV risk screening tools so children and adolescents living with HIV can be identified through outpatient departments, orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) programs and community settings.
PRIORITY ACTION 6: OPTIMIZE PEDIATRIC ANTI-RETROVIRAL THERAPY REGIMENS
FASTER is optimizing pediatric antiretroviral therapy regimens by overcoming barriers to development, testing and introduction of pediatric treatment.