Last week, Professor Lucie Cluver was invited to speak to the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board in Geneva about the UKRI's GCRF Accelerate Hub's recent findings. This was an opportunity to present the 'accelerator' concept in relation to HIV and adolescents and the very low rates of adherence to antiretroviral medication. The Hub's results show that simple social and economic solutions (cash transfers, safe schools and parenting support) can improve retention in HIV care for vulnerable adolescents, and that they also improve multiple other Sustainable Development Goals. This provides real opportunities to capitalise on the SDG agenda, and also to provide services to adolescents living with HIV that allow them to reach their wider goals.
The PCB is a high-level advisory group that advises the United Nations on policy and programming. It includes the UNAIDS representatives of 22 countries, UNFPA, UNICEF, WFP, UNESCO, ILO, WHO, World Bank, UNDP, UNHCR and UNODC, and meets at the World Health Organisation. Lucie spoke at the 'children and adolescents' thematic day on Thursday 12 December, which then makes clear plans for UNAIDS actions. Afterwards, she said: "We are really honoured that the Accelerate Hub was invited to speak at the UNAIDS Planning Coordination Board. We presented our new findings, showing that parenting support, cash transfers and safe schools can improve HIV care and also multiple SDGs for adolescents living with HIV. After our talk, the US Ambassador for the AIDS response, the Deputy Executive Director of UNAIDS and DFID all highlighted that these findings are informing the design of their programmes to fight the AIDS epidemic."
The UKRI GCRF Accelerate Hub is one of 12 interdisciplinary Global Research Hubs, launched earlier this year by UK Research and Innovation. Over the next five years these interdisciplinary research Hubs will work with governments, international agencies, NGOs and community groups in developing countries to provide creative and sustainable solutions to help make the world safer, healthier and more prosperous. These Hubs are funded through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) which is a key component in delivering the UK AID strategy and puts UK research at the heart of efforts to tackle the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).