Secure access to antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) is critical for the realization of the ’90-90-90’ targets set out by UNAIDS, two of which include ‘sustained antiretroviral therapy in 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection’ and ‘90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy having viral suppression’. However, the current reality is that access to ARVs is limited in many settings by dysfunctional supply chains that impedes both patient initiation and adherence and poses a major barrier to win the global fight against HIV.
This 31-page report (also known as ‘Empty Shelves, Come Back Tomorrow’) details four case studies of sub-Saharan African countries with different HIV burdens and variable supply chain models, comparing those models in terms of robustness and flexibility to deliver ARVs. It highlights facility medication stockouts as a regional problem that has a negative impact on the health of patients.
It includes a number of recommendations to reduce the stockout problem and provide stable access to ARVs for the growing number of people living with HIV. We call on national
and global actors to prioritize adaptation of supply chains to respond to patients’ realities, needs and demands as a condition to provide a quality response against the HIV epidemic.