The adequacy of policy responses to the treatment needs of South Africans living with HIV (1999-2008): a case study

Gow, Jeff (2009) The adequacy of policy responses to the treatment needs of South Africans living with HIV (1999-2008): a case study. Journal of the International AIDS Society, 12 (37). ISSN 1758-2652

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South Africa has the largest HIV/AIDS epidemic of any country in the world.
Case description: National antiretroviral therapy (ART) policy is examined over the period of 1999 to 2008, which coincided with the government of President Thabo Mbeki and his Minister of Health, Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang. The movement towards a national ART programme in South Africa was an ambitious undertaking, the likes of which had not been contemplated before in public health in Africa.
Discussion and evaluation: One million AIDS-ill individuals were targeted to be enrolled in the ART programme by 2007/08. Fewer than 50% of eligible individuals were enrolled. This failure resulted from lack of political commitment and inadequate public health system capacity. The
human and economic costs of this failure are large and sobering.
Conclusions: The total lost benefits of ART not reaching the people who need it are estimated at 3.8 million life years for the period, 2000 to 2005. The economic cost of those lost life years over this period has been estimated at more than US$15 billion.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Authors retain copyright. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business - School of Accounting, Economics and Finance
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2010 14:35
Last Modified: 29 Aug 2014 05:40
Uncontrolled Keywords: HIV/AIDS; epidemic; South Africa; national antiretroviral therapy policy; human and economic costs; South African public health; policy responses; antiretrovirals; HIV- and AIDS-specific funds
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1606 Political Science > 160607 International Relations
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1107 Immunology > 110799 Immunology not elsewhere classified
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1103 Clinical Sciences > 110309 Infectious Diseases
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920208 Health Policy Evaluation
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1186/1758-2652-12-37

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