Community Guide to WHO ARV Guidelines launched: WHO commits to further resources for communities

On 22 July 2014, at the International AIDS Conference, the Global Network of People Living with HIV (GNP+), the International HIV/AIDS Alliance and STOP AIDS NOW! launched a new Community Guide, Driving the HIV response, developed in response to the World Health Organization (WHO) 2013 Consolidated Guidelines on the use of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs for treating and preventing HIV.

Suzette Moses-Burton, Executive Director of GNP+, said, “We are proud to have been involved first in the development of the WHO Guidelines, and now in the creation of this Community Guide. It is only through the involvement of communities and respect for their rights that the ambition of the WHO Guidelines can be realised for people living with HIV.”

Gottfried Hirnschall, Director of HIV/AIDS at the WHO, welcomed the Community Guide, “This Community Guide is a practical tool, and complements the vision of the WHO Consolidated ARV Guidelines, which recognise the critical role of communities in ensuring the best possible health outcomes for people living with HIV.”

At the press conference today, he continued: “On Sunday, the WHO launched a new set of Guidelines for Key Populations, and we can see the immense value in supporting further community guides to this, which will support countries to make appropriate services available to those who are most in need of them.”

“All over the world people experience the need to understand the WHO treatment guidelines on a daily basis. Our local partners expressed a need for a practical tool to understand and apply the guidelines and this inspired us to develop the Community Guide. In our MaxART programme in Swaziland we are mobilizing the community to take an HIV test, to start ART treatment earlier and to continue in care. This can only be done if they fully understand the national and the global treatment Guidelines.” said Louise van Deth, Executive Director of STOP AIDS NOW!.

Tetyana Deshko from the International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine said: “Three out of five people living with HIV globally are not accessing ARVs and most of them represent key affected populations. This guide will help to address this critical public health gap, creating treatment awareness among communities and generating the necessary demand for ART uptake.”