Expanding access to HIV treatment through community-based organizations

This UNAIDS Best Practice Collection publication is intended as a resource for civil society, groups of people living with HIV, national programme managers, international and national policy-makers and donors to better appreciate and support the concept of involving more community-based organizations in national plans for providing HIV care and treatment. In 2004, the nongovernmental organization, Sidaction, with support from UNAIDS and WHO, conducted a survey of the community response to HIV treatment needs in Africa. The document describes the self-reported experiences and achievements of community-based organizations already involved in providing care; this Best Practice provides strategic information on some of the needs, challenges and opportunities that are specifi c to community-based organizations in scaling up access to care and treatment; it demonstrates the current and potential value of their work and suggests ways forward to assess, support, and enlarge the scope and impact of that work. It is hoped that this Best Practice will inspire other countries and regions to replicate the untiring work of African community-based organizations, as well as demonstrate to both policy makers and donors the valuable contributions of civil society to the response to the AIDS epidemic, especially with regards to provision of care and treatment. This survey was the fi rst attempt to map and describe the contributions made by community groups, including those founded by persons living with HIV, in increasing access to antiretroviral therapy. Urgent and ongoing support to their efforts, in the context of a viable public health response, is a critical part of an effective and comprehensive response to HIV.

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