Background: In light of the decline in donor HIV funding, HIV programmes increasingly need to assess their available and potential resources and maximize their utilization. This article presents lessons learned related to how countries have addressed the sustainability of HIV programmes in a stakeholder-driven sustainability analysis.
Methodology: During HIV/AIDS Programme Sustainability Analysis Tool (HAPSAT) applications in six countries (Benin, Guyana, Kenya, Lesotho, Sierra Leone and South Sudan), stakeholders identified key sustainability challenges for their HIV responses. Possible policy approaches were prepared, and those related to prioritization and resource mobilization are analysed in this article.
Results: The need to prioritize evidence-based interventions and apply efficiency measures is being accepted by countries. Five of the six countries in this study requested that the HAPSAT team prepare 'prioritization' strategies. Countries recognize the need to prepare for an alternative to 'universal access by 2015', acknowledging that their capacity might be insufficient to reach such high-coverage levels by then. There is further acceptance of the importance of reaching the most-at-risk, marginalized populations, as seen, for example, in South Sudan and Sierra Leone. However, the pace at which resources are shifting towards these populations is slow. Finally, only two of the six countries, Kenya and Benin, chose to examine options for generating additional financial resources beyond donor funding. In Kenya, three non-donor sources were recommended, yet even if all were to be implemented, it would cover only 25% of the funding needed.
Conclusions: Countries are increasingly willing to address the challenges of HIV programme sustainability, yet in different ways and with varying urgency. To secure achievements made to date and maximize future impact, countries would benefit from strengthening their strategic plans, operational plans and funding proposals with concrete timelines and responsibilities for addressing sustainability issues.
Keywords: HAPSAT; HIV; economic evaluation; policy analysis; resource allocation.