Supporting broader local community reach & scope in response to global challenge of mother to child transmission of HIV

London, 20 June, 2011 - ViiV Healthcare announced today that it has awarded £1 million to 82 projects in 21 countries across the globe aimed at improving the health and welfare of women, children and families affected by HIV. With this large number of smaller community grants, the Positive Action for Children Fund aims to stimulate grassroots community action in support of global PMTCT (Preventing Mother to Child Transmission) community efforts to eliminate vertical transmission of HIV. Such work is closely aligned with the World Health Organization’s vision for addressing mother-to-child transmission of HIV and works toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals set to reduce child mortality, improve maternal health and combat spread of HIV.

“HIV in women and vulnerable children remains a persistent challenge globally. ViiV Healthcare is committed to tackling this major unmet medical need by supporting programmes focused on preventing HIV transmission from mother to child. Through such collaborations, our goal is to support community action on the ground to alleviate the impact of HIV and AIDS on maternal and child health, which is closely aligned with the Millennium Development Goals.” Commented Dr Dominique Limet, CEO, ViiV Healthcare.

This announcement is directly supportive of the Global Plan towards the Elimination of New HIV infections among Children by 2015 and Keeping Their Mothers Alive as set out by the UNAIDS convened Global Task Team, announced on June 08 2011. The plan sets out the following key principles for success: women living with HIV are at the centre of the response, country ownership – i.e. responses designed, developed and delivered by local communities, leveraging synergies linkages and integration for improved sustainability & shared responsibility and specific accountability – between families, communities and countries. The grants announced today will support direct action on the ground matching these priorities. They are also closely aligned to the countries set out as a priority for addressing MTCT.

AIDS has become a leading cause of illness and death among women of reproductive age in countries with a high burden of HIV infection. More than 1000 children become infected with HIV every day, during the perinatal and breast feeding period, according to the UNAIDS global report published last November. In spite of recent progress in the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission, in sub Saharan Africa children account for more than 10% of all HIV infections. This is in stark contrast with countries such as the UK, where because of optimal treatment, management and prevention strategies, mother to child transmission of HIV has reduced from 25% to less than 1% (Townsend 2008) and continues to improve.

About today’s grants
This new call for proposals aims to support a broader mix of organisations with a focus on the priority issues in the priority countries to address mother to child transmission of HIV. In particular we have prioritised 14 countries for PMTCT interventions: Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi, Angola, Burundi, Chad, Tanzania and India. The Positive Action for Children’s Fund has supported a total of 82 grants from 21 countries. Projects range from £3000 to £20,000.

“With the Positive Action for Children Fund, we are delighted to be able to support such a broad range of different types of community organisations, who are providing much-needed local support to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Action by the community for the community is essential to create lasting change in the face of this major unmet need.” Commented the PACF Board Chair, Catherine Peckham.

Click here to find out more about the grantees:

About ViiV Healthcare’s Positive Action for Children Fund
The Positive Action for Children Fund was first announced in July 2009 and builds upon the foundation of the long-standing Positive Action programme, established in 1992. With an emphasis on community engagement, ViiV Healthcare’s Positive Action programme supports global efforts to address the challenges of HIV prevention, tackling stigma and discrimination, building capacity and treatment literacy.

Following extensive consultations with some of the sector’s leading non-governmental organisations, practitioners and policy-makers in this field, the Positive Action Children Fund focuses on grants that pursue the four elements of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) strategic vision and comprehensive approach for addressing the mother-to-child transmission of HIV, under these four headings:

  • Increasing and improving primary prevention of HIV infection among women of childbearing age;
  • Delivering proper and equitable reproductive choices for people living with HIV/AIDS;
  • Interventions that prevent HIV transmission from a woman living with HIV to her infant; and
  • Improving the health and welfare of mothers living with HIV, their children and families by providing appropriate treatment, care and support.

ViiV Healthcare’s Positive Action for Children Fund is committed to fund $48 million on community based PMTCT interventions through 2015 and will have a targeted spending pattern - at least 80 percent will support projects focused on sub-Saharan Africa, while up to 20 percent may be dispersed to projects focused elsewhere. To qualify, at least 85 percent of the project’s budget must be spent in the targeted country.

About ViiV Healthcare
ViiV Healthcare is a global specialist HIV company established by GlaxoSmithKline (LSE: GSK.L) and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) to deliver advances in treatment and care for people living with HIV. Our aim is to take a deeper and broader interest in HIV/AIDS than any company has done before, and take a new approach to deliver effective and new HIV medicines as well as support communities affected by HIV. For more information on the company, its management, portfolio, pipeline and commitment, please visit

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