A comparative analysis of national HIV policies in six African countries with generalized epidemics

Church, K. et al. (2015) A comparative analysis of national HIV policies in six African countries with generalized epidemics. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 93(7), pp. 457-467. (doi: 10.2471/BLT.14.147215) (PMID:26170503) (PMCID:PMC4490813)

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Objective: To compare national human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) policies influencing access to HIV testing and treatment services in six sub-Saharan African countries. Methods: We reviewed HIV policies as part of a multi-country study on adult mortality in sub-Saharan Africa. A policy extraction tool was developed and used to review national HIV policy documents and guidelines published in Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania and Zimbabwe between 2003 and 2013. Key informant interviews helped to fill gaps in findings. National policies were categorized according to whether they explicitly or implicitly adhered to 54 policy indicators, identified through literature and expert reviews. We also compared the national policies with World Health Organization (WHO) guidance. Findings: There was wide variation in policies between countries; each country was progressive in some areas and not in others. Malawi was particularly advanced in promoting rapid initiation of antiretroviral therapy. However, no country had a consistently enabling policy context expected to increase access to care and prevent attrition. Countries went beyond WHO guidance in certain areas and key informants reported that practice often surpassed policy. Conclusion: Evaluating the impact of policy differences on access to care and health outcomes among people living with HIV is challenging. Certain policies will exert more influence than others and official policies are not always implemented. Future research should assess the extent of policy implementation and link these findings with HIV outcomes.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Crampin, Professor Mia
Authors: Church, K., Kiweewa, F., Dasgupta, A., Mwangome, M., Mpandaguta, E., Gómez-Olivé, F. X., Oti, S., Todd, J., Wringe, A., Geubbels, E., Crampin, A., Nakiyingi-Miiro, J., Hayashi, C., Njage, M., Wagner, R. G., Ario, A. R., Makombe, S. D., Mugurungi, O., and Zaba, B.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > Public Health
Journal Name:Bulletin of the World Health Organization
Publisher:World Health Organization
ISSN (Online):1564-0604
Published Online:28 April 2015
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2015 World Health Organization
First Published:First published in Bulletin of the World Health Organization 93(7):457-467
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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