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FHI 360 and partners to lead USAID expansion of HIV prevention for women

August 16, 2021

group of young women discussing in a circle

FHI 360 will lead a new US$85 million program to help women in multiple countries in sub-Saharan Africa protect themselves from HIV. Through MOSAIC (Maximizing Options to Advance Informed Choice for HIV Prevention), FHI 360 and its partners will expedite access to a range of biomedical products that are affordable, acceptable, safe and effective for HIV prevention. MOSAIC is funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

“Our goal is to ensure that women, especially adolescent girls and young women, can live a life free from HIV by accelerating the introduction and usage of new prevention products,” says Kristine Torjesen, MOSAIC Project Director at FHI 360. “Key to our success will be our partnership with trusted local organizations that know their communities best and bring unique insights and expertise to this lifesaving effort.”

FHI 360 will work with a consortium of local and international partners, including LVCT Health, based in Kenya; Pangaea Zimbabwe AIDS Trust, based in Zimbabwe; Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute (RHI), based in South Africa; Jhpiego; and AVAC.

“For young women in sub-Saharan Africa, this means having – for the very first time – a choice of easily accessible HIV prevention options,” says Saiqa Mullick, Director of Implementation Science at Wits RHI. “Through MOSAIC, they will feel empowered and supported to make informed choices that fit their lifestyles.”

Despite significant progress in controlling HIV, the incidence of HIV among adolescent girls and young women in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa remains excessively high: Among 15- to 19-year-olds, four in five new infections occur in females. Numerous factors contribute to this high infection rate and subsequent complications. Through MOSAIC, FHI 360 and its partners will implement user-centered research and research translation efforts to identify, understand and remove barriers to new product introduction, access and use; coordinate and provide technical assistance to global, national and subnational stakeholders to expedite product launch and scale-up; and strengthen the capacity of a wide range of local partners to perform essential functions that support HIV prevention product introduction.

Photo credit: Jim Daniels/FHI 360