Number of health facilities that offer antiretroviral therapy (ART)
Number of health facilities that offer ART (i.e., prescribe and/or provide clinical follow-up).
Capacity of health facilities to provide antiretroviral therapy (ART), expressed as percentage of health facilities that offer ART (i.e., prescribe and/or provide clinical follow-up). Health facilities include public and private facilities, health centres and clinics (including TB centres), as well as health facilities that are run by faith-based or
Antiretroviral therapy is a cornerstone of effective HIV treatment, and measuring the percentage of health facilities that offer ART provides valuable information about ART availability.
This indicator provides valuable information about the availability of ART services in health facilities, but it does not capture information about the quality of services provided. Antiretroviral therapy itself is complex, and it should be delivered as part of a package of care interventions, including the provision of cotrimoxazole prophylaxis, the management of opportunistic infections and comorbidities, nutritional support and palliative care. Simple monitoring of ART availability does not ensure that all ART-related services are adequately provided to those who
need them. Nevertheless, it is important to know what percentage of health facilities provide ART services in order to plan for service expansion as needed to meet universal access targets.
• One strategy to scale up ART services is to make ART available in more health facilities. This may be achieved by decentralizing ART services from tertiary facilities (e.g., hospitals) to primary or secondary-level health facilities. Greater availability of ART services provides crucial support to the goal of universal access to HIV treatment by 2010.
• Depending on the country's epidemic type, the denominator may not be as relevant if the HIV program strategy aims to target a limited number of sites to offer ART in.
Data utilization: To look at progress in the percentage of health facilities which provide antiretroviral therapy. Analyzing the data geographically and by type of health facilities, and triangulating the data with estimates of HIV density can provide insight into where there is a need to increase availability of ART services.