YouthPower Event: Achieving 90²: Young People, HIV Testing Services and Linkage to Treatment

YouthPower Learning hosted a webinar organized by YouthPower Action:

Achieving 90²: Young People, HIV Testing Services and Linkage to Treatment
Journal Supplement Webinar
When:  Thursday, August 10th, 9 - 11 am ET 

Please download the webinar slides here

This webinar presented research results, published in the supplement to the journal AIDS, to improve HIV testing and linkage to care among adolescents and young people. 
Currently, rates of HIV diagnosis and treatment initiation among adolescents and young people ages 15–24 are low, and new infections among adolescents and youth are increasing. Recent studies reveal significant gaps in the HIV clinical cascade among young people, as the global community pursues the UNAIDS 90–90–90 targets. Efforts need to be expanded to reach youth and adolescents who are most at risk, aiming for early diagnosis and treatment initiation for those who are HIV positive. At the same time, appropriate primary prevention need to be ensured, so that those identified as HIV negative remain so.
The speakers presented selected articles that focused on the need for youth engagement, the role of voluntary male medical circumcision, new strategies such as self-testing, and the pressing needs of adolescents regarding HIV testing adn linkage to care in the United States and internationally. Facilitated by experts in the field, this webinar provided an opportunity for program planners, donors, policy makers, youth and other participants to discuss this topic and ask questions.


Vincent J. Wong, MSc, BA (USAID) and B. Ryan Phelps, MD, MPH (USAID)


Julie Denison, PhD (Johns Hopkins University), 
Calvin Robinson, MPH (USAID),
Michelle Kaufman, PhD (Johns Hopkins University),
Pitchaya Indravudh, MA (Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Program), and
Andres Camacho-Gonzalez, MD (Emory University).


 9:00 Welcome & Introductions (Vincent Wong/Ryan Phelps)
 9:10  Youth Engagement (Julie Denison & Calvin Robinson)
 9:30  Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision Among Adolescents: A Missed Opportunity for HIV Behavioral Interventions (Michelle Kaufman)
 9:45  "I will choose when to test, where I want to test": Investigating young people's preferences for HIV self-testing in Malawi and Zimbabwe (Pitchaya Indravudh)
10:00  The MACARTI Study: Closing the Gaps in HIV Care among Youth in Atlanta, GA (Andres Camacho-Gonzalez)
10:15  Discussion & Audience Q&A
10:45  Closing

About the Speakers:

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Vincent J. Wong, MSc, BA, is a Senior Technical Advisor for HIV Testing Services within the Office of HIV/AIDS and with USAID. He provides technical assistance to PEPFAR Missions globally around HIV testing, is co-chair of the PEPFAR HTS Technical Working Group, and has served as a member of multiple WHO Guidelines committees. Previously, Vincent worked at the World Health Organization on HIV testing and diagnosis within the “3 by 5” initiative, with a special focus on pediatric testing and key populations. He has a Masters of Science in International Health and a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Public Health from Humboldt and Frei Universities.


Default image, no image supplied by the user.B. Ryan Phelps, MD, MPH, is a pediatrician and USAID Medical Officer in PMTCT and pediatric HIV, joined USAID’s Office of HIV/AIDS in late 2009, and has provided technical assistance to PEPFAR-supported programs throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to joining USAID, Dr. Phelps worked for the Baylor International Pediatrics AIDS Initiative in Swaziland and Botswana for several years. Dr. Phelps is a graduate of Duke University School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. He trained in pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco.

Default image, no image supplied by the user.Julie Denison, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  Her research focuses on how families and communities influence adolescent health decisions including accessing HIV testing, seeking care and treatment, and adhering to antiretroviral therapy (ART).  Her current research includes: a pilot of an intervention among adolescents living with HIV (ALHIV) and caregivers (Zambia); a study of two-generation mindfulness interventions and self-regulatory and medication adherence behaviors among ALHIV (Baltimore); and a study testing a peer mentoring intervention to improve HIV viral suppression and other HIV outcomes among ALHIV as they transition to self-management and adult HIV care (Zambia).

Default image, no image supplied by the user.Calvin Robinson, MPH, is a Program Analyst in the Office of HIV/AIDS at USAID. He manages the YouthPower project and other youth related activities in the Office of HIV/AIDS. Calvin has worked on public health projects related to hospital readmission rates, obesity/nutrition, health disparities, MSM/HIV, identifying health needs of women who are pregnant with HIV, HPV vaccination, training clinicians on HIV/AIDS and certifying HIV/AIDS testing counselors. Calvin has a keen interest in bridging health disparities in the LGBT population and African Americans in the United States and other vulnerable populations internationally. 

Default image, no image supplied by the user.Michelle R. Kaufman, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. As a social psychologist by training, she studies how interpersonal relationships and social factors contribute to health disparities, and how behavior change interventions can mitigate these factors. Her work focuses on how gender roles, sexuality, and social status put individuals at risk for poor health outcomes. She uses mixed methodologies to design, implement, and evaluate health interventions. Her work spans several continents, with current and past projects in the U.S., Nepal, South Africa, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Cote d’Ivoire, and Indonesia.

Default image, no image supplied by the user.Pitchaya Indravudh, MA, is a Research Associate at the Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme. She is the Malawi trial coordinator and lead for the gender analysis under UNITAID/PSI HIV Self-Testing Africa (STAR), a multi-country implementation research project on self-testing. Pitchaya has eight years of experience in public health, with five years based in South Africa, Ghana and Malawi. She has a B.A. and M.A. in International Development, with a focus on health and development economics.  



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Andres Camacho-Gonzalez, MD, is a board-certified pediatrician and pediatric ID specialist. He directs the Pediatric ID Fellowship Program at Emory University School of Medicine. His clinical and research interests focus on the delivery of HIV care across the spectrum of the HIV care continuum. In his research, he seeks to increase HIV diagnosis and bridge the implementation gap among children, adolescents and young adults by addressing sociobehavioral, biomedical, and systems-level barriers.


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