South Africa: Getting People Out of the Clinic Can Support HIV Treatment Adherence

analysis

The growing crisis in many of South Africa's clinics has reached a point where patient care is being compromised and there is a deepening worry that people living with HIV are being pushed out of treatment, argues Anele Yawa and Lotti Rutter. In this op-ed, they ask whether repeat prescription collection strategies are simpler and quicker than waiting in long clinic queues.

Anele Yawa is the General Secretary of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC). Lotti Rutter is with Health GAP. Both work on the Ritshidze project.

The growing crisis in many of South Africa's clinics has reached a point where patient care is being compromised. There is a deepening worry that people living with HIV are being pushed out of treatment.

Allowing people living with HIV to collect their medication refills outside of the clinic can improve this experience and reduce the risk of people disengaging from care. Decentralising medication refills -- together with longer ARV refills -- can reduce how often people living with HIV actually have to go to the clinic -- reducing time spent in long queues, interacting with rude staff, or having their status involuntarily disclosed, as often reported through community-led monitoring, of the kind we...

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