HIV and Health Systems: Research to Bridge the Divide
Concern that HIV programs in low-income countries may strain weak health systems and undermine achievement of other priority health goals has resulted in a research agenda focused on measuring the effects of past HIV investments on non-HIV services and outcomes. However, this research has limited value for informing future health policies and programs, which increasingly view health systems as the common platform for delivery of HIV and other health services. These policies reflect a shift in the framing of HIV care and treatment from emergency response to routine health service. In this paradigm, relevant areas for research are strengthening, scaling, and sustaining health systems in low-income countries to reduce all-cause mortality and morbidity, including deaths from HIV. To build an evidence base to support current and future health systems and policy, researchers need to move from retrospective studies to prospective research and adopt innovative study designs and analytic methods.
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