Dr Werner Buehler, Senior Fund Portfolio Manager, High Impact Unit Asia of the Global Fund has been instrumental in supporting residential drug treatment for HIV positive persons using drugs in Pakistan to improve access to ART. This unit has been operational since December 2013 and has provided residential drug treatment to 114 HIV positive persons with a CD4 below 500 from selected districts across Punjab. Clients have been referred by the CoPc+ sites established in these districts as part of the Global Fund Round 9 – HIV Grant, for which Nai Zindagi is the Principal Recipient.
During the visit Dr Werner was presented with data related to this unit and the outcome so far. As a result of these services in the last two months (December and January), sixty four of the 114 who completed treatment are on ART. He interacted with clients in residence and managed to have an improved understanding of the importance of this intervention. After this Dr Werner visited the recently initiated ART Adherence Unit, supported by MAINLINE Foundation, the Netherlands. Here he met 27 HIV positive persons who used drugs, now on ART. Although it was wet and cold the hot cup of tea and the fire everyone sat around added to the warmth shared by all present. Dr Werner, thank you for visiting us and we look forward to another visit soon.