08 December 2023 | News

Unitaid announces new funding opportunities to support the elimination of vertical (mother-to-child) transmission of HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B, and Chagas disease

Proposals are welcomed until 12 March 2024

Women who have HIV, hepatitis B, syphilis, or Chagas can pass these diseases to their babies during pregnancy, childbirth, or while breastfeeding, making early detection and linkage to lifesaving treatment critical. Yet, in many low- and middle-income countries, there is limited access to vital tools and services to reach pregnant women with screening and treatment and prevent onward transmission.

Syphilis is the second leading cause of preventable stillbirth and a greater cause of child mortality than HIV. Hepatitis B can cause serious life-long illness if left untreated, and it is estimated that by 2030, 50% of all new chronic hepatitis B infections globally will be the result of vertical transmission. In Latin America where it is endemic, Chagas disease often goes undetected until it flares up later in life, causing serious heart or digestive complications. And despite reductions in HIV infections passed from mother to child, an estimated 740 children become infected with HIV every day – nearly 85% of them in sub-Saharan Africa.

An integrated ‘triple elimination’ approach is grounded in evidence demonstrating that linking interventions for HIV with services for other sexually transmitted infections like syphilis and hepatitis B improves uptake and is an efficient use of limited resources. However, there is limited evidence to guide optimal strategies for integrating services and, though tools and interventions are available, there are critical gaps in their use and implementation.

Unitaid is calling for proposals to drive the adoption of comprehensive and integrated programs to eliminate vertical transmission. This includes efforts to address the factors that limit access to new and underutilized diagnostic tools, effective treatments, and vaccines, and integrate these services within existing healthcare platforms, such as antenatal and postnatal care as well as at the community level.

Proposals should seek to:

Through these programs, Unitaid aims to enable widespread access to a comprehensive package of care for women and newborns in low- and middle-income countries that improves health outcomes and advances disease elimination.

Find out more about this latest opportunity for funding here.

Convocatoria de Propuestas: Acelerar la demanda y adopción de herramientas y estrategias integradas de entrega de servicios para la eliminación de la transmisión vertical del VIH, sífilis, hepatitis B y Chagas en áreas endémicas.

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