HIV/AIDS Combating and Support Systems
Course Summary:

The health system plays a crucial part in the response to HIV in terms of provision of HIV and AIDS related services. The sector has been heavily impacted by HIV and AIDS as many health workers are living with HIV. HIV funding is increasingly used for strengthening health systems. The health system response to the HIV epidemics needs to address a wide range of programs in the continuum of prevention, diagnosis, treatment and care of those infected and those with AIDS. This course critically analyses key aspects of health system’s response to the epidemic and how the health system has been impacted. It discusses the opportunities of using HIV program as a means of strengthening existing health services and systems. 

Course Objectives:

  • Analyse and evaluate which components and functions of a health system require strengthening for improved scaling up of HIV responses, and provide concrete recommendations on improvements.
  • Identify, analyse and utilise opportunities presented within HIV programmes (VCT, PMTCT, ART, TB-HIV, etc) to establish synergies between the health sector response to HIV and the existing health system
  • Critically analyse existing health services from the perspective of marginalized, vulnerable groups and communities affected by HIV and provide recommendations on how to enhance equitable access and voice.

Course Outline

Health Systems and its components:

  • Key components and fundamental objectives of a health system;
  • Actors involved in a health system; 
  • Analytical frameworks for assessing the functioning of health systems
  • The relationships and interdependencies between HS components.

Health Systems Organization: 

  • Decentralization
  • ‘Vertical’ and ‘horizontal’ (integrated) approaches
  • Different organizational approaches
  • Strategies for optimising organisational structures, integration, actors: ie Role of ngo’s/ civil society

Scaling up AIDS responses and Health Systems (Strengthening): 

  • Links between scaling up HIV and AIDS responses and HS elements or functions; 
  • The impact of HIV and AIDS on health systems; Indicators for health systems strengthening in relation to scaling up of HIV and AIDS responses
  • Human resources and stigma

Community Systems Strengthening (CSS): 

  • Core components of a functioning community system ie selfhelp groups; 
  • CSS needs in the context of AIDS responses; 
  • Links between CSS and HSS

HIV services, access and voice for vulnerable groups and communities: 

  • Existing services from the perspective of access to services for vulnerable groups and communities and adherence to MIPA principles; 
  • Key issues related to organising services that ensure access to vulnerable groups; 
  • Voice and accountability

Introduction to policy papers: 

  • Policy papers and policy pitch