Celebrating NASTAD Botswana

By Lucy Slater, Director, Global Program

On March 31, 2015, due to cuts and realignments in PEPFAR funding, and after nearly 15 years of collaboration with partners in the country, NASTAD will be closing out its work in Botswana.

ALDP Master Trainers and participants during a training.

Botswana was one of the first countries to invite NASTAD to enter into a capacity building partnership, and our work there over the years is a microcosm of our work across the Global Program.

From the very start, we collaborated with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLG-RD) and the District AIDS Coordinator teams—the public health counterparts to our U.S. membership of state health department AIDS directors—placing an emphasis on supporting the districts to plan and coordinate their HIV response. Continue reading

Celebrating 10 Years of Public Health System Strengthening in Zambia

By Lucy Slater, Director, Global Program

Like all organizations, NASTAD Global goes through cycles – cycles of staffing, cycles of scopes of work, and cycles of funding. In 2015, we approach a convergence of these cycles, and as some new opportunities are emerging, we are also finding that some existing work must end. As of March 31, 2015, the outcomes of NASTAD Global’s HIV health systems strengthening assistance for national government partners in Zambia will have been integrated into government structures and we will close the doors to our Zambia office.

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Increasing Access to Treatment for HIV and Hepatitis via Patient Assistance Programs and Cost-Sharing Assistance Programs

By Amanda Bowes, Associate, Health Care Access and Viral Hepatitis, NASTAD

Patient Assistance ProgramsThe treatment landscape for both HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) is evolving in exciting and dramatic ways. This excitement is often curbed, however, by high priced drugs and/or restrictive insurance practices that impacted populations face in accessing health care services.  Continue reading

Transition from Community- to Facility-based I ACT Implementation in South Africa

By Dr. Tshiwela Neluheni, Country Director, NASTAD South Africa

Linkage to and retention in HIV care amongst people living with HIV (PLHIV) have been identified as serious challenges in South Africa, where the HIV prevalence rate among adults aged 15-49 is estimated to be 19.1%. In the age of Treatment as Prevention, and in a country with an estimated 6.3 million PLHIV – the greatest number of PLHIV in any country in the world – linkage to and retention in HIV care is particularly critical. In an effort to help improve these outcomes, NASTAD South Africa collaborated with Mpumalanga Provincial Department of Health (PDOH) and the Regional Training Centre (RTC) to implement the Integrated Access to Treatment and Care (I ACT) program.

Staff supporting I ACT Implementation in Ehlanzeni District, including two Support Group Facilitators, a Facility Operational Manager and a Professional Nurse.

The I ACT program focuses on helping PLHIV link to and be retained in care, as well as maintain adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART). The program targets people recently diagnosed with HIV and recruits them into community and health facility based pre-ART and ART care and support group sessions. These support group sessions provide critical information about HIV, healthy living strategies, and treatment and care options, and help improve retention in care from the time of HIV diagnosis through ART initiation to lifelong care and treatment.

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Increasing Access to Treatment for HIV and Hepatitis via Patient and Cost-Sharing Assistance Programs

By Amanda Bowes, Associate, Health Care Access and Viral Hepatitis, NASTADPatient Assistance Programs

The treatment landscape for both HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) is evolving in exciting and dramatic ways. This excitement is often curbed, however, by high priced drugs and restrictive insurance practices that impacted populations face when accessing health care services. While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes an unprecedented expansion of access to both private and public health insurance, the cost of insurance (i.e., premiums, co-payments, co-insurance and deductibles) remain too high for some individuals, even with the availability of federal subsidies. Continue reading