HIV/AIDS Assets and Strategic Focus
The partnership between CDC and the Government of Botswana began in 1995 with the goal of strengthening tuberculosis (TB) prevention and control through public health research. In 2000, the partnership grew to include HIV prevention, care, treatment, and strategic information program development in order to maximize the quality, coverage and impact of Botswana’s national response to the HIV epidemic. In 2013, CDC launched a four-year study called the Botswana Combination Prevention Project (BCPP) in partnership with the Botswana Ministry of Health and the Harvard School of Public Health. The overall goal of the study is to evaluate whether coordinated and strengthened community-based HIV prevention methods prevent the spread of HIV better than the current standard methods.
Strengthening Public Health Systems
CDC provides technical and direct assistance to the Government of Botswana to improve epidemiology, surveillance, laboratory operations, research, and workforce capacity. The relationship has supported collaboration in a number of areas, including HIV testing and counseling, HIV/TB control, voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) and prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission. CDC also builds in-country capacity for skilled laboratory workers and national laboratory services, which are vital to the expansion of HIV treatment, diagnosis, and care.
Botswana Combination Prevention Project (BCPP)
The 2013 launch of a joint U.S.-Botswana combination prevention trial underscores the global value of our bilateral HIV/AIDS partnership with Botswana. Through BCPP, CDC, the Botswana Ministry of Health, and the Harvard University School of Public Health (through the Botswana-Harvard Partnership) will determine whether providing communities with a package of coordinated HIV biomedical interventions will significantly reduce new HIV infections at the community level and whether this reduction will be cost-effective.
Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC)
Between April 2013 and February 2014, Botwana’s VMMC program recorded 42,679 circumcisions, about 85% of its annual target and 10,000 more than the previous year. These significant improvements can be attributed to improved operational efficiencies, increased outreach, and increased demand for PrePex, a new male circumcision device being piloted in Botswana. CDC supports the national VMMC program through technical assistance, service delivery, demand creation, and commodity supply.
For stories about CDC’s work in Botswana, read Tsogang (April 2014), a public health magazine published by CDC-Botswana.