Antiretroviral Therapy

ART Photo 640
David Snyder, Courtesy of Photoshare

The ability of countries to provide and sustain effective long-term HIV care with antiretroviral therapy and prevention is critical. This requires an effective patient monitoring system integrated with care, prevention, and treatment at the health facility.

A chronic care and antiretroviral (ART) patient monitoring system serves two main functions: it enables quality clinical management of patients; and patient monitoring data are used for program monitoring and management, and contribute to indicators at all levels for in-country and global reporting and planning.

Patient Monitoring Guidelines for HIV Care and Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) is a collaborative work coordinated by MEASURE Evaluation and the World Health Organization (WHO), and endorsed by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, U.S. Agency for International Development, and other international partners. The guidelines are intended to facilitate stakeholder consensus on a minimum, standardized set of data elements to be included in patient monitoring tools, and aid in the development of an effective national HIV care and ART patient monitoring system.

The document is aimed at those involved at various levels of the development or revision of patient monitoring tools such as HIV care and ART patient and facility records, registers and reports, or electronic systems, and may include national AIDS programme managers, ministries of health, and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) officers.

To facilitate the operationalization of a sustainable and scalable national patient monitoring system, the guidelines present:

  • a recommended minimum standardized set of data elements for HIV care and ART patient monitoring
  • recommended standardized definitions for key ART terms
  • recommended facility, district, national and global level indicators
  • country and project examples of patient monitoring tools
  • an illustrative generic paper-based patient monitoring system

The guidelines are in various stages of adaptation and implementation in several countries, including Uganda, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Lesotho, Vietnam, and Kenya.

WHO and MEASURE Evaluation can provide limited technical assistance to help with the adaptation and implementation of the Guidelines in all other countries. Training materials for the district and clinical management teams are also available.