Solthis Therapeutic Solidarity and Initiatives for Health

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ANRS 12344 – DIAVINA  (HIV Virological Diagnosis and Initiation at Birth)


Diagnosis of HIV infection and treatment from birth of infants exposed to the virus when the mother has not been treated with an ARV during pregnancy: evaluation and strategy in Guinea.

photo femme enfant HD - à zoomer pr enlever les boîtes de lait

The challenges

In Subsaharan Africa, particularly in Guinea, many children are being born from mothers who have not yet been tested for HIV during their pregnancy, and therefore, have not received ARV drugs to prevent the transmission of the virus from mother to child. Recent studies show that there is a benefit to diagnosing the infection at birth to quickly identify children infected in utero and then start ARV treatment early, in the first few days, to reduce deaths and illnesses linked to HIV. In the absence of treatment, 50% of infants infected during the perinatal period (in the womb or at birth) die within the first year. The peak in deaths connected to HIV in these children is around the age of 2-3 months, leaving a very small window of opportunity to detect and treat them.

Project start: January 2016

Project area: Guinea

Budget: €150 000

Financial source: ANRS, Marie de Paris, Saham Assurance in Guinea. Currently sourcing co-funding.

Recipient : Pediatric Department of Ignace Deen University Hospital Center- Conakry




Evaluate a strategy combining the diagnosis of HIV infections and systematic treatment with ARVs from birth in children exposed to the virus where the mother has not been treated throughout pregnancy. In most cases the mother will not have been screened for HIV before pregnancy.



  • Operational research study
  • Development of research protocol
  • Setting up of a cohort of mother and child couples in two treatment sites (300 infants exposed to HIV by a mother not treated with ARVs during pregnancy or who have not been treated for more than a month)

Expected results

An operational strategy associated with the diagnosis of HIV infections at birth for exposed infants born to mothers who have not been treated during pregnancy, and the early initiation of triple therapy prophylactic ARV drugs at first and then remedially if the diagnosis is confirmed.   This could improve the overall care of mother and child and reduce deaths and illnesses of infants in the first few years of their life.

  • Setting up of an operational research project, in a country with limited resources, to document a strategy combining viral diagnosis of HIV at birth followed by early treatment with ARVs in infants born from mothers infected with HIV and not treated during pregnancy.
  • Improving detection rates in pregnant women in the CHU at Conakry
  • Improving ARV provision in pregnant women infected by HIV and giving birth in the 2 city hospitals in Conakry
  • Improvement of the retention and follow up rate of mother and children in the care system in Conakry
  • Lowering of the death and illness rate connected to HIV before the age of one in infants infected in utero
  • Measure the acceptability of the diagnosis and therapeutic strategy to families



We are looking for financial contributions

Solthis have received the support of ANRS and the “Mairie de Paris” for this operational research project. The Guinean insurance subsidiary of “Saham Assurance” also contributes to its support. However, we do need more financial support for this project, and anyone can support this project, which will allow us to protect infants exposed to HIV/AIDS in Guinea.



This English translation has been possible thanks to the PerMondo project: Free translation of websites and documents for non-profit organisations. A project managed by Mondo Agit. Translator: Michelle Houghton; Proofreader: Thomas McGuinn.

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