Africa Asia Middle East Français Português Subscribe IRIN Site Map
Global HIV/AIDS news and analysis
Advanced search
 Thursday 04 October 2007
Weekly reports 
In-Depth reports 
Country profiles 
Fact files 
Really Simple Syndication Feeds 
About PlusNews 
Contact PlusNews 
PlusNews In-Depth

The Treatment Era: ART in Africa

Lead Features
PDF file

 Download this in-depth report
2.3 MB

Links & References
  • The WHO 3 by 5 Initiative
  • The Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS Tuberculosis and Malaria
  • The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief
  • World Bank AIDS site
  • Pan-African Treatment Access Movement
  • WHO Prequalification Project
  • Eldis Resource on ARVs
In-Depth Feedback

PlusNews welcomes feedback on this In-Depth report. Send your messages to .
SOUTH AFRICA: Monitoring access to free ARVs

Photo: PlusNews
18,500 South Africans are currently receiving ARV treatment
A South African non-profit organisation has initiated a nationwide network to monitor access to free antiretroviral (ARV) treatment.

The project, called the 'Treatment Monitor', collects data from a wide range of organisations throughout the country, which will be used to lobby government, detect shortfalls in research and develop best practices.

The Health Systems Trust (HST) began keeping track of access to ARVs and care early this year, and functions as a clearinghouse for treatment information. The Trust saw the need to launch the project because "there is no single monitoring framework available that provides a national picture" of South Africans' access to treatment, said HST senior researcher Rob Stewart.

"Access to information is a major hurdle a number of institutions have to overcome, and the government is certainly one of them," Stewart told PlusNews, adding that some government departments held back information that should be in the public domain.

The Treatment Monitor is aimed at helping to identify loopholes in the current health system and build consensus among the participating institutions.

Groups providing information to the Treatment Monitor include the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), AIDS Law Project, KZN Monitoring Forum, Medecins Sans Frontieres, South African HIV Clinicians Society, South African universities, government departments and parastatals, such as Eskom, and private sector corporations, including Anglo-American and Daimler Chrysler.

"We try to pull the different pieces together and create an environment where information can be shared," said Stewart.

Another goal of the Treatment Monitor initiative is to identify gaps in research. According to Stewart, research has not been done in a number of areas, such as service delivery models, the role of community health workers and traditional healers in screening and supporting drug adherence, financing of the national ARV programme and its sustainability, and making structural changes to the health system required for a successful rollout of ARVs.

Although HST will only be disseminating the first observations of the Treatment Monitor next year, Stewart could identify some core weaknesses of the South African government's health policy.

According to the latest numbers from the Joint Civil Society Monitoring Forum, 18,500 South Africans are currently receiving ARV treatment - just a third of the government's target of having 53,000 people on treatment by March 2005. "We have a long way to go," said Stewart.

Print report
Back | Home page

Services:  Africa | Asia | Middle East | Radio | Film & TV | Photo | E-mail subscription
Feedback · E-mail Webmaster · IRIN Terms & Conditions · Really Simple Syndication News Feeds · About PlusNews · Bookmark PlusNews · Donors

Copyright © IRIN 2007
This material comes to you via IRIN, the humanitarian news and analysis service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the United Nations or its Member States. Republication is subject to terms and conditions as set out in the IRIN copyright page.