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Seva's AIDS Eye Initiative

Since the beginning of the global epidemic of HIV/AIDS more than 70 million people have been infected and 35 million have died. Today an estimated 34.8 million people in developing countries live with the condition. AIDS Eye Initiative reduces blindness and mortality of those affected by HIV/AIDS.

Seva’s AIDS Eye Initiative, started in 2007, aims to reduce blindness caused by a common infection among HIV/AIDS patients, CMV retinitis. The AIDS Eye Initiative partners with institutions involved in HIV/AIDS treatment in Southeast Asia, China, India, and Russia.

One of the aims of the AIDS Eye Initiative is to develop a model that makes retinal examination by indirect ophthalmoscopy a routine part of care for HIV/AIDS patients. This exam reduces mortality and blindness by providing early diagnosis and improved management of CMV retinitis and disseminated tuberculosis. Using evidence-based methods, this innovation can be scaled up and widely implemented.

The initiative’s main activities focus on training HIV/AIDS clinicians and building the evidence base for this solution. The training and clinical work has been highly successful, with 11 workshops and training visits in just the past three years to Myanmar, China, Russia, and India.

The AIDS Eye initiative works in partnership with HIV/AIDS treatment programs in Myanmar (Medical Action Myanmar and Doctors Without Borders), China (AIDS Care China), India (Doctors Without Borders) and Russia (Botkin Infectious Disease Hospital, St. Petersburg). The program also works in collaboration with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and the Clinton Foundation.

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