Partners In Health: HIV Care in Rwanda
In 2005, Partners In Health (PIH) was invited by the Rwandan Ministry of Health to assume responsibility for the management of public health care in two rural districts in Eastern Rwanda and create an HIV treatment program at these sites. PIH successfully implemented a comprehensive program focusing on 4 principles: health systems improvement, HIV prevention and care, accompaniment, and social and economic support. By January 2007, the Rwinkwavu site had conducted 67,137 HIV tests and provided antiretroviral therapy to more than 2,000 patients, of which, fewer than 1% had been switched to second-line drug regimens, 3.8% had died and only one patient had been lost to follow up. A costing analysis done by the Clinton HIV/AIDS Initiative suggested that the model could feasibly be spread to other districts. Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, Executive Director of Rwanda's National AIDS Control Commission and her colleagues in the Ministry of Health are contemplating how the program could be improved and whether it should be expanded nationally.