MaxART: Early Access to ART for All in Practice
July 15, 2014
In the second phase of the programme (2014-2017), MaxART will be embarking on the demonstration project Early Access to ART for All. The aim is to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, clinical outcomes, affordability, and scalability of offering ART to all HIV-positive individuals in Swaziland’s government-managed health system.
The demonstration project will take place in the Hhohho region through a 'stepped wedge design' with open enrolment for HIV positive adults. It is anticipated to begin in August 2014, and will continue for three years. Beside evaluating clinical outcomes, the focus will be on the community's perception of the intervention and
the economic impact for the country. Using various methods, the
consortium partners will address the primary questions through social science research, economic costing, and mathematical modelling.
Community participation will be an integral part of the implementation, ensuring that the community's interests are voiced and protected. The formation of a community advisory board (CAB) guarantees the provision of substantive input that is in accordance with community values, culture, and social practices. MaxART's demonstration project Early Access to ART for All will inform Swaziland's HIV guidelines and provide valuable insights for the Southern African region about the possibility of a shift in treatment guidelines.
This article has been published in the MaxART e-news edition 5, July 2014