Leveraging the HIV response to strengthen pandemic preparedness

2 February 2023

The review, “Leveraging the HIV response to strengthen pandemic preparedness” published in the journal PloS Global Public Health, examines how HIV-related resources and principles can support communities and countries in being better prepared for emerging disease threats, with a specific focus on evidence from the COVID-19 pandemic. Key interviews in six countries (Kenya, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Thailand, Vietnam) conducted in February and March 2021, explored the role of HIV programs and providers in early national COVID-19 programming and health systems more generally.

The review draws on current literature and explores the multi-faceted intersection between the HIV response and the central elements of pandemic
preparedness in areas including surveillance; supply chain; primary care; health care workforce; community engagement; biomedical research; universal access without discrimination; political leadership; governance; and financing. Key to building sustainable pandemic preparedness response and health system resilience is investing in inclusive scientific research and community engagement programmes, achieved in HIV. The role of civil society was central in building and sustaining political commitment during the HIV pandemic. Lessons can be learned in galvanising global solidarity, inclusiveness and shared responsibilities in future pandemic responses.  The article calls for the strategic leveraging of existing, extensive global HIV response and programmes in developing a global pandemic preparedness response and strengthening health systems while advancing global health equity.  


For more reading see: Collins C, Isbell MT, Abdool Karim Q, Sohn AH, Beyrer C, Maleche A. Leveraging the HIV response to strengthen pandemic preparedness. PloS Global Public Health 2023 January; 3(1): e0001511.