Big breakthroughs in HIV science, such as antiretroviral therapy and the “universal test and treat” policy, create hope and galvanize efforts to bring the epidemic to an end. Yet, no matter how promising the strategy, we know from experience that it is not easy to incorporate the latest approaches into poorly resourced, over-stretched health systems. Nor is it reasonable to expect that health systems can absorb the increased volume of patients that seems to go hand in hand with innovations.
The differentiated models of care approach is the latest groundbreaking way to manage HIV, and as such, the one that now demands a thoughtful approach for successfully bringing it to scale. Differentiated care entails providing a range of patient-centered alternatives to meet their specific and varied needs. Its goal is to ensure that patients receive what they need in a way that they prefer while simultaneously maximizing the efficiency of the health system. For example, a patient with undiagnosed symptoms will need to see a health care provider at a clinic, while healthier people may only need to refill prescriptions at a drug pick-up point in the community. Differentiated care provides individualized care to each of these types of patients while reducing the burden on health care systems. So far, pilots for this approach have shown a lot of promise. How can we achieve the impact we know is possible at scale?
Read the full article about a bold approach to end the HIV epidemic by Otto Chabikuli at degrees.fhi360.org.
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