ART adherence clubs : a long-term retention strategy for clinically stable patients receiving antiretroviral therapy : forum

Wilkinson, L. S.

The ART-adherence club model described here provides patient-friendly access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) for clinically stable patients. It reduces the burden that stable patients place on healthcare facilities, increasing clinical human resources for new patients, and those clinically unstable and at risk of failing treatment. In the model, 30 patients are allocated to an ART club. The group meets either at a facility or community venue for less than an hour every 2 months. Group meetings are facilitated by a lay club facilitator who provides a quick clinical assessment, referral where necessary, and dispenses pre-packed ART. From January 2011 to December 2012, after adoption for phased roll-out by the Western Cape Government, more than 600 ART clubs were established in Cape Town, providing ART care to over 16 000 patients. This extensive, rapid roll-out demonstrates active buy-in from patients and facility staff. South Africa should consider a similar model for national roll-out.

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South Africa