AIDS Care Framework

To achieve local, multidisciplinary and multisectoral approaches to enhancing HIV and AIDS care, ECI facilitated the creation of AIDS Care Teams composed of, and directed by, local experts in HIV and AIDS care. The teams brought together experienced clinicians, epidemiologists, human rights specialists, persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), leaders of advocacy groups, economists, religious leaders, government officials, academics, and public health specialists to focus on practical interventions that could be readily adopted within existing or expanding structures and institutions. The AIDS Care Teams were supported by faculty from The Harvard School of Public Health and, more importantly, by local institutions and governments and by the International AIDS Care Resource Group, an expert advisory panel for the initiative. Members of the International AIDS Care Resource Group were nominated by the AIDS Care Teams, and included leaders in HIV/AIDS care and policy making from UNAIDS, WHO, academic institutions, government structure and non-government organizations (NGOs).

A Local Focus for Care
For each AIDS Care Team, ECI activities began with an assessment using the AIDS Care Framework. The framework focused assessment of HIV and AIDS care on existing infrastructure, local policies, programs, services and structures. This group undertaking resulted in adoption of a focus for team activities on which all Team members agreed. Initially, ten specific areas of care were identified through discussions with AIDS Care Team members in each of the five regions of ECI. The ten Areas of Care shaped infrastructure assessments, and each team focused their work in different areas according to needs determined through the results of the assessment. All of the ECI Ten Areas of Care are linked by cross-cutting "Care Analysis Themes," which are topics common to many of the areas of care and which include the epidemiology and availability of care, costs and economics, human rights, involvement of individuals and communities, and the integral role of HIV prevention interventions. In this way, regardless of which areas of care an AIDS Care Team selected as a priority for research, intervention, and the development of sustainable policy recommendations, their activities were linked by a common approach to assessment as well as by these cross-cutting themes.