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Costing Human Rights and Community Support Interventions as a Part of Universal Access to HIV Treatment and Care in a Southern African Setting

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Expanding access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) has both individual health benefits and potential to decrease HIV incidence. Ensuring access to HIV services is a significant human rights issue and successful programmes require adequate human rights protections and community support. However, the cost of specific human rights and community support interventions for equitable, sustainable and non-discriminatory access to ART are not well described. Human rights and community support interventions were identified using the literature and through consultations with experts. Specific costs were then determined for these health sector interventions. Population and epidemic data were provided through the Statistics South Africa 2009 national mid-year estimates. Costs of scale up of HIV prevention and treatment were taken from recently published estimates. Interventions addressed access to services, minimising stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV, confidentiality, informed consent and counselling quality. Integrated HIV programme interventions included training for counsellors, ‘Know Your Rights’ information desks, outreach campaigns for most at risk populations, and adherence support. Complementary measures included post-service interviews, human rights abuse monitoring, transportation costs, legal assistance, and funding for human rights and community support organisations. Other essential non-health sector interventions were identified but not included in the costing framework. The annual costs for the human rights and community support interventions are United States (US) $63.8 million (US $1.22 per capita), representing 1.5% of total health sector HIV programme costs. Respect for human rights and community engagement can be understood both as an obligation of expanded ART programmes and as a critically important factor in their success. Basic rights-based and community support interventions constitute only a small percentage of overall programmes costs. ART programs should consider measuring the cost and impact of human rights and community support interventions as key aspects of successful programme expansion





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Keywords: ART; Cost analysis; HAART; HIV prevention; HIV testing; INTERVENTIONS; Legal assistance; economics; highly active antiretroviral therapy; human rights

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2011

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  • Current HIV Research aims to cover all the latest and outstanding developments of HIV research. We invite comprehensive review articles and novel, pioneering work in the basic and clinical fields on all areas of HIV research, including virus replication and gene expression, HIV assembly, virus-cell interaction, viral pathogenesis, epidemiology and transmission, anti-retroviral therapy and adherence, drug discovery, the latest developments in HIV/AIDS vaccines and animal models, mechanisms and interactions with AIDS related diseases, social and public health issues related to HIV disease, and prevention of viral infection. Each issue of the journal contains a series of timely in-depth reviews and original research written by leaders in the field covering a range of current topics on HIV research. Periodically, the journal will invite guest editors to devote an issue on a particular area of HIV research of great interest that increases our understanding of the virus and its complex interaction with the host.
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