Persistent structural inequality in the developing world has created, fostered, and continues to breed homelessness, inaccessible or inadequate healthcare, malnutrition, drug and gang related street violence as well as the increasing likelihood that ‘at risk’ populations will contract HIV in their life time. Women and children being two ‘at risk’ populations whose voices and lives are often ignored or silenced by violence and repression.
In the last ten years a flurry of grassroots activist movements, nongovernmental organizations, and private sector businesses have become increasingly dedicated to not only bringing national attention to these ‘at risk’ groups, but working collaboratively with them to fight for entitlements such as political participation, labor rights, reproductive health and safety, and access to comprehensive healthcare. The prevention and treatment of HIV among children and women is an urgent global health issue, being that 2/3rds of the population in the southern region on the continent of Africa is infected with HIV. According to the United Nations AIDS Deputy Director Kathleen Cravero, of Africans in the age grouping of 15 – 49 who are HIV positive, women make up 57%, and in the 15 – 24 age grouping women make up 75%. The global health community is aware of and beginning to address the disproportionately high infection rates among women and children. There is a large outcry from domestic and international communities and human rights organizations for initiatives and methodologies that will close this gaping space.
Hewlett Packard and the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) are partnering together in collaboration with the Kenyan Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation to significantly accelerate the turn around time of early infant diagnosis (EID) HIV test results. The collaboration was incepted and officiated at the 2010 Clinton Global Health Initiative’s annual meeting. The ad hoc multilateral and bilateral collaboration will attempt to synthesize scientific and technological innovation and policy while simultaneously exemplifying that efforts made from the private sector can be effective in fighting the spread of and increasing the survival rate of Kenyan children diagnosed with HIV.
Founder of the Clinton Global Initiative and former president Bill Clinton and his aid and counselor Doug Band have projected that the lives of more than 100,000 Kenyan infants can be positively impacted under this specific health initiative. The Clinton Global Initiative is actually the brainchild of Doug Band, as stated by former president Bill Clinton.
The agenda agreed upon and outlined by CHAI, the Kenyan Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation, and HP works to position Kenya against HIV by establishing five HP data centers within the country where early infant diagnosis’ are able to be processed with results ready in two days, a step away from the paper-based system which had a turn around time of between two to three months. In addition to HP technology being used to process HIV test results- the technology will also be used to manage and store the highly sensitive information. The five data centers are expected to process 70,000 test results a year and prevent HIV related deaths of more than 100,000 Kenyan children each year. The initiative also plans to offer financial, staffing, and equipment support in an effort to expand the Kenyan Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation’s commitment to preventing Mother-to-Child AIDS transmission.
The governmental, NGO, and private sector efforts attempt to make accessible early HIV detection, better quality HIV treatment for infants and women through the introduction of technologically advanced forms of medical testing, equipment, and information storage. The chances of survival of an infant born with HIV almost doubles when immediately administered the anti-retroviral treatment. Securing early diagnoses and administering anti-retroviral treatments, vaccines, and microbicides as expediently as possible increases the survival rate and works to improve the over all health and quality of life of infected children and women.