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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A Conversation with Wendy Craytor, former Alaska State AIDS Director

By Anna Carroll, Manager, Global Program, NASTAD

Wendy Craytor served as the Alaska State HIV STD Director from 1988 – 2008. She was a founding member of NASTAD and, as such, was involved in hiring Julie Scofield, the Executive Director of NASTAD, and in establishing the organization’s early strategic directions. When the NASTAD Global Program was founded in 2002, Wendy joined one of the initial NASTAD Global teams and began providing technical assistance (TA) to one of NASTAD’s international partners.  She has continued to provide Global TA during her retirement.

Wendy Craytor

Wendy Craytor

I have been fortunate to work with Wendy in Guyana, where she has supported the NASTAD Global Program, providing technical assistance to the Ministry of Health. During our last trip to Guyana, I sat down with Wendy to ask her about her experiences with NASTAD, both as an AIDS Director and as a NASTAD Global Program TA Provider. Below are edited excerpts from our conversation. Continue reading

Raising the Bars: Using Data to Design Targeted HIV Interventions

By Lucy Slater, Director, Global Program, NASTAD

NASTAD’s Global Program works internationally to build the organizational, programmatic and human resource capacity of partner Ministries of Health.

Evidence-based planningThe HIV Care Continuum provides a tool to measure progress toward increased access and retention to clinical services. By supporting all components of the HIV Care Continuum, we move closer toward achieving an AIDS-free generation. Continue reading

Raising the Bars: Supporting the Collection and Triangulation of Quality HIV Data

By Lucy Slater, Director, Global Program, NASTAD

Global Newsletter 2NASTAD’s Global Program is funded through PEPFAR to build the organizational, programmatic and human resource capacity of its regional/state public sector AIDS program counterparts. NASTAD strengthens the HIV Care Continuum through strong partnerships with partner ministries of health and by providing targeted training, technical assistance and supportive supervision.  Continue reading

NASTAD Supports Implementation of Information System Across Ethiopia

By Tibebe Shenie, Country Director, NASTAD Ethiopia and Anne Sites, Senior Manager, Global Program, NASTAD

Wubshet Denboba

Wubshet Denboba, Health System Strengthening Senior Specialist, NASTAD Ethiopia

The recently released UNAIDS Gap Report highlighted many significant achievements in the global fight against HIV/AIDS, including a 13% decrease in new HIV infections and a 19% reduction in AIDS-related deaths over the past three years. But the report also emphasized that much work remains to be done to ‘close the gap’ between those who have access to life-saving services and those who do not. It is critical that Ministries of Health be able to utilize high quality HIV data to address these gaps, and to direct client-level interventions to locations and populations with the greatest need. In Ethiopia, NASTAD is contributing to this effort as it supports the Federal HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office (FHAPCO) in the implementation of a Multi-Sectoral Response Information System (MRIS).

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