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  • Innovative practice: Combining data sources to map HIV resistance
Innovative practice

Combining data sources to map HIV resistance

Company:

Johnson & Johnson

What:

A modelling tool that blends multiple types of data to map HIV resistance. 

Where:

Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda

Aim:

To model HIV resistance data that can inform policy decisions and future initiatives. 

Context:

HIV drugs have increasingly become available for people living in resource limited settings. However, with these treatment scale-ups, HIV drug resistance has started to emerge. The consequences of HIV drug resistance include less effective or even failed treatments and further spread of drug resistant HIV. 

HIV drugs have increasingly become available for people living in resource limited settings. However, with these treatment scale-ups, HIV drug resistance has started to emerge. The consequences of HIV drug resistance include less effective or even failed treatments and further spread of drug resistant HIV.

Drug resistant HIV poses a serious threat to achieving the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets. Issues such as stock outs, poor monitoring, and lack of adherence increase the risk of drug resistant HIV. Tackling HIV drug resistance effectively requires building an understanding of where resistance is emerging, tracking its extent and distribution, and monitoring this over time.

Johnson & Johnson Global Public Health (GPH), in partnership with the data technology company BlueSquare HUB, is innovating by using multiple data sources to map HIV drug resistance. This initiative to map resistance will result in a dynamic tool to help the countries’ policymakers decide on interventions and plan for the provision of second- and third-line HIV therapies.

The tool could also be used for advocacy, to develop HIV prevention strategies, and to train health workers. The initiative, which began in early 2018, is initially focusing on Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Here, the partners are combining population density maps with multiple sources of data, including epidemiological data collected by the country’s health data management system (DHS and DHIS2) and non-epidemiological data (spending on health care, and data about political stability, environmental conditions, movement of people, and supply chain factors).

The initiative innovates in blending statistics with data analysis and predictive modelling techniques – combining data sources with other tools to map resistance. The first stage will provide proof of concept, with updates for ongoing monitoring. After the completion of the initial mappings in mid-2019, the partners plan to extend the initiative to other regions and countries. In addition to the mapping exercise, Johnson & Johnson GPH will host a hackathon in late 2018 to solve challenges in modelling and addressing HIV resistance. The hackathon will bring together a diverse group of talent and skills, including from local stakeholders.

The initiative meets all good practice standards. It is guided by clear objectives, and addresses the local need to understand emerging patterns of HIV drug resistance. Johnson & Johnson’s partnership with BlueSquare is governed by a contract that sets out partners’ roles and responsibilities, overseen by a steering committee. Measuring progress is inherent to the nature of the initiative.

By creating a modelling tool that can continuously monitor resistance, and inform policy decisions and future initiatives, Johnson & Johnson is demonstrating the potential to bring sustainable, long-term value in this area.


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