In 2013 APN+ received funding from the Robert Carr Network Fund to focus programming on HIV- Hepatitis C co-infection in Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, India and Vietnam.
The context for this program is the high overall mortality rate of PLHIV living with chronic hepatitis C co-infection, from both liver-related disease and non-liver conditions. Hepatitis C co-infection is especially high amongst PLHIV with a background of injecting drug use. In some sites in Asia up to 90 % of people who inject drugs are reported to be living with hepatitis C and many are also living with HIV.
Program objectives are to enhance PLHIV knowledge on HIV-Hepatitis C co-infection, including impacts on long-term HIV treatment and survival, and to increase demand for and access to hepatitis C testing and treatment from PLHIV.
These objectives reflect APN+’s belief in the need to support country network members to address their local needs and fulfill their missions. Without PLHIV engagement and mobilisation at the national level, regional and global HIV responses, including the goal of universal access, will remain unachievable.
APN+ provides program oversight, including financial management, program monitoring and technical support. APN+ members and partners, national networks of PLHIV in particular, serve as primary leads for implementation in each country.
The initiative aligns with APN+ strategic direction 1 ‘Peer Led Advocacy’ and links closely with network strengthening and leadership directions of the APN+ Positive Change strategy. APN+ thanks the Robert Carr Network Fund for their ongoing support in this initiative.