New Horizons Collaborative: Improving Access to HIV Treatment and Care for Children and Youth in Need
First launched in 2014, New Horizons is a collaborative initiative that is working to build awareness, inspire action, advance learning and implement change to address the unmet needs of HIV treatment-experienced children, adolescents, and young adults in sub-Saharan Africa.
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The initiative is aimed at addressing critical gaps in pediatric HIV care and expanding access to second- and third-line HIV medicines to children and adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa.
What are the health needs and challenges?
There are now 38 million people worldwide living with HIV, including 1.7 million children under the age of 15—many of whom contracted the virus through mother-to-child transmission. In addition, sub-Saharan Africa accounts for nearly 90 percent of all children and adolescents living with HIV globally. While access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) has improved, children and adolescents living with HIV are far less likely to access these treatments than adult patients, a gap that is particularly urgent in eastern and southern Africa.
Diagnosing HIV infection and initiating patients on treatment as early as possible are critical steps in the fight to end the HIV epidemic and vital to addressing the gap in antiretroviral therapy (ART) coverage between adult and pediatric patients. With the release of the 2014 UNAIDS 90-90-90 treatment target and the updated 2016 WHO consolidated treatment guidelines recommending treatment for all HIV-infected individuals, including children, programs are expected to significantly scale-up the number of children, adolescents and young people initiated on ART. Adherence, retention in care and treatment failure for children, adolescents and young adults living with HIV must be prioritized in order to achieve and maintain viral suppression as well as prevent drug resistance from developing.
Collaboration activities and how they address needs and challenges
In response to these challenges, Johnson & Johnson, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) and other collaborators launched the New Horizons Collaborative in 2014. The program is aimed at addressing critical gaps in pediatric HIV care and expanding access to second- and third-line HIV medicines to children and adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa. Building on the success of the first seven years of the program, the next phase of New Horizons, launched in 2021, is focused on implementing a number of enhancements to maximize its reach and impact, while continuing to expand access to medicines and strengthen health systems.
Under this phase of the program, New Horizons is continuing to enroll new HIV patients through at least 2025. Johnson & Johnson, through its Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, is donating PREZISTA® (darunavir) and INTELENCE® (etravirine), two important HIV medicines, to treat pediatric and adolescent patients previously enrolled in the program and those who will be enrolled in the future until they turn 24 years of age, at which point they will be transitioned into national adult HIV treatment programs.
Beyond the medicines, EGPAF, with support from Johnson & Johnson, the Partnership for Supply Chain Management (PFSCM) and others, will continue strengthening the capacity of health systems in the 11 participating countries to advance pediatric and adolescent HIV care and enhance core NHC program elements, including access to medicines, supply-chain strengthening and data generation. These measures are critical to protecting global progress against the HIV epidemic amid setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Infectious and Parasitic Disease
Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF)
Infectious and Parasitic Disease