Study honoring late AIGHD founder published in renowned journal

A comprehensive paper on an innovative workplace treatment program has been published in the well-known HIV/AIDS journal Antiviral Therapy.

The paper, ‘Reaching 90-90-90: outcomes of a 15-year multi-country HIV workplace programme in sub-Saharan Africa’ was published last month and highlights a joint initiative between Heineken, PharmAccess and the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development (AIGHD).

The article[1] describes the results of 15 year of HIV treatment with Heineken staff, spouses and children in Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Brazzaville and Nigeria. The data are put into the context of the current ’90-90-90’ thinking: by the year 2020 90% of all HIV+ people in the world should have been diagnosed; 90% of them should be on HIV treatment and 90% of those on treatment should be successful (have a fully suppressed viral load). In total 42,490 individuals were tested for HIV with 746 (1.8%) found HIV+. The paper demonstrates that the program performs very close to the UNAIDS targets of 90-90-90.

The project team dedicated the manuscript to Prof. Joep Lange, in honor of the role he played in establishing a partnership with Heineken to execute HIV treatment in Africa. Prof. Lange, along with his partner Jacqueline van Tongeren, were killed when Malaysian Airlines flight 17 was shot down over Ukraine in 2014. Prof. Lange founded both AIGHD and PharmAccess and the journal Antiviral Therapy.

“This paper is particularly important because it carries on the HIV research and advocacy of Joep Lange while showcasing the positive impact of a privately-funded workplace program on the UNAIDS targets,” said Prof. Tobias Rinke de Wit, AIGHD Academic Staff and lead for the project.

“Not only does this work link to AIGHD’s research priority of eliminating infectious disease transmission, but it continues Joep’s legacy as a pioneer and advocate for access to HIV treatment to everyone around the world, regardless of where they live.”

As a tribute to Joep, Heineken recently changed the name of its HIV program to the ‘Joep Lange HIV Workplace Programme’. They also received the 2019 Amsterdam Dinner Award for their long-term commitment to combating HIV.