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TB and HIV integration: obstacles and possible solutions to implementation in South Africa.

Research paper by Marian M Loveday, Virginia V Zweigenthal

Indexed on: 25 Jan '11Published on: 25 Jan '11Published in: Tropical Medicine & International Health



Abstract

To identify key obstacles to operational integration of TB and HIV services and to suggest strategies to promote integration in the prevention, treatment and care of patients with TB and HIV.This is a health systems research case study of operational integration of TB and HIV in South Africa. Peer-reviewed and grey literature together with the experiences of the authors were used to identify key obstacles to integration in service implementation practices and community-level care. Relevant legislation, policies and guidelines were analysed to determine whether they facilitated or undermined the integration of TB and HIV services.Obstacles to integration exist at contextual and epidemiological levels as well as at intervention design and implementation levels. Importantly, integration at an operational level is undermined by fundamentally different principles underpinning the design of TB and HIV programmes and national policies and legislation which mitigate against integration.South Africa has an opportunity to effect changes that will facilitate TB/HIV integration and improve care for all those infected with TB, HIV or both conditions. An analytic approach necessary to understand the obstacles to and ensure effective strategies facilitating integration is required. This needs to be followed by mobilisation of clinical and health systems expertise, health infrastructure, commitment and experience in creative and appropriate ways for the variety of health care settings.

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