Reaching 90-90-90: Outcomes of a 15-year multi-country HIV workplace programme in sub-Saharan Africa

Ragna Boerma, Onno Schellekens, Tobias F. Rinke de Wit, Ferdinand W. Wit, Stefaan van der Borght, Henk Rijckborst, Patrick Chukwumah, Herbert Schilthuis

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Background: In 2001, an international beverage company implemented an HIV workplace programme providing free antiretroviral treatment (ART) for employees and dependents in sub-Saharan Africa, at a time when ART, cost assessments of ART programmes and related public funding was hardly available. This study describes the outcomes of this programme with respect to achieving the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets in five African countries and analyses trends over the past 15 years. Methods: Anonymous human resource data were analysed in three cohorts of participants (those enrolling in 2001–2005, 2006–2010 and 2011–2015). Results: Over 15 years, 42,490 unique individuals in five African countries were tested for HIV in this programme and 746 (1.8%) were found to be HIV-infected. Between 2002 and 2015, the proportion of HIV-positive participants on ART increased from 42% to 94% and the proportion of participants on ART who achieved virological suppression increased from 38% to 87%. Conclusions: This study shows that in one of the earliest HIV treatment programmes in Africa long-term success has been achieved, approaching the current UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets, demonstrating that the treatment of HIV in developing countries is possible with superior results at low costs (45 US dollars/employee). Reasons for this success include continuous access to on-site quality care and ART and the assistance of an independent NGO with experience in HIV treatment. This provides an argument to continue private sector involvement in international efforts to combat HIV/AIDS, particularly in light of increased ART targets, under-capacity in the public sector and stagnating international funding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-370
Number of pages8
JournalAntiviral therapy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

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