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The integration of the global HIV/AIDS response into universal health coverage: desirable, perhaps possible, but far from easy.

Ooms, Gorik; Kruja, Krista.
Global Health ; 15(1): 41, 2019 06 18.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31215446

BACKGROUND:

The international community's health focus is shifting from achieving disease-specific targets towards aiming for universal health coverage. Integrating the global HIV/AIDS response into universal health coverage may be inevitable to secure its achievements in the long run, and for expanding these achievements beyond addressing a single disease. However, this integration comes at a time when international financial support for the global HIV/AIDS response is declining, while political support for universal health coverage is not translated into financial support. To assess the risks, challenges and opportunities of the integration of the global HIV/AIDS response into national universal health coverage plans, we carried out assessments in Indonesia, Kenya, Uganda and Ukraine, based on key informant interviews with civil society, policy-makers and development partners, as well as on a review of grey and academic literature.

RESULTS:

In the absence of international financial support, governments are turning towards national health insurance schemes to finance universal health coverage, making access to healthcare contingent on regular financial contributions. It is not clear how AIDS treatment will be fit in. While the global HIV/AIDS response accords special attention to exclusion due to sexual orientation and gender identity, sex work or drug use, efforts to achieve universal health coverage focus on exclusion due to poverty, gender and geographical inequalities. Policies aiming for universal health coverage try to include private healthcare providers in the health system, which could create a sustainable framework for civil society organisations providing HIV/AIDS-related services. While the global HIV/AIDS response insisted on the inclusion of civil society in decision-making policies, that is not (yet) the case for policies aiming for universal health coverage.

DISCUSSION:

While there are many obstacles to successful integration of the global HIV/AIDS response into universal health coverage policies, integration seems inevitable and is happening. Successful integration will require expanding the principle of 'shared responsibility' which emerged with the global HIV/AIDS response to universal health coverage, rather than relying solely on domestic efforts for universal health coverage. The preference for national health insurance as the best way to achieve universal health coverage should be reconsidered. An alliance between HIV/AIDS advocates and proponents of universal health coverage requires mutual condemnation of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, sex work or drug use, as well as addressing of exclusion based on poverty and other factors. The fulfilment of the promise to include civil society in decision-making processes about universal health coverage is long overdue.