Strengthening the HIV Continuum of Care in South Africa

By Anna Carroll, Associate, Global Program, NASTAD

NASTAD staff visit the Hlalanikahle Clinic with Mpumalanga Department of Health Staff, the Health Facility Manager and Facility Based Support Group Facilitators

NASTAD staff visit the Hlalanikahle Clinic with Mpumalanga Department of Health Staff, the Health Facility Manager and Facility Based Support Group Facilitators

Since 2002, the number of people receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV/AIDS in low- and middle-income countries has increased dramatically, from 300,000 in 2002 to 9.7 million in 2012. Despite this striking improvement, this represents only 34% of people currently eligible for ART under the 2013 WHO guidelines.

The National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) Global Program has worked hard to reduce this massive treatment gap in South Africa, where an estimated 5.6 million people are living with HIV and AIDS, the greatest number of people in any country worldwide. In 2009, the South African government initiated the Integrated Access to Care and Treatment (I ACT) Program as one important component of its national response to the HIV epidemic. As a primary partner to provincial departments of health in South Africa, NASTAD began working in partnership with the Free State and Mpumalanga Provincial Departments of Health (PDoH) to support the implementation and development of I ACT in these provinces. Continue reading