The HIV & AIDS and STI National Strategic Plan 2007 - 2011: a paediatric perspective
Objective. To analyse paediatric-specific goals and objectives in the HIV & AIDS and STI National Strategic Plan (NSP) for South Africa 2007 - 2011.
Methods. This paper reviews key interventions described in the NSP regarding HIV prevention, management and treatment in children under 14 years of age. A general overview of the plan and its implications for the health system was previously published.
Results. The NSP contains 4 priority areas, which were disaggregated into 19 goals. Each goal specifies several clearly worded objectives together with 5-year targets, and identifies lead agencies responsible for the achievement of these targets. Nine of the 19 goals (47%) address interventions which mention or affect children directly. Paediatric-specific objectives encompass HIV prevention and treatment, legislation, social security, education, mental health, and developmental monitoring. If implemented comprehensively, it will appreciably improve the country’s chances of achieving Millennium Development Goal 4, i.e. the reduction by two-thirds of the mortality rate among children under 5 years of age by 2015. However, substantial resources are required to achieve the goals and objectives of the NSP, including legal and policy amendments.
Conclusion. The NSP is an important framework document, which should provide the necessary direction for addressing the paediatric HIV epidemic in South Africa.