Providing HIV services at primary health care clinics in resource -poor settings


In February 2000 Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and the Health Department of the Province of the Western Cape initiated a comprehensive service for persons infected with HIV in Khayelitsha. In May 2001 this site became the first public sector service to provide antiretroviral therapy (ART) in South Africa.

The aim of this project was to show the effectiveness, feasibility and acceptability of treating persons infected with HIV, including the provision of ART, in a primary health care setting. In order to show that it was more affordable to use generic versions of antiretroviral drugs, MSF sought and received a section 21 authorisation of the Medicines Control Council to use generic antiretrovirals in September 2001. The use of generic antiretrovirals started in January 2002.