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Mobile Primary Healthcare:
Taking healthcare out of facilities for effective HIV prevention and care
Elzette Rousseau, South Africa
Elzette is currently a fellow of PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), based at the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation (DTHF).
In 2013, HIV prevalence in South Africa was estimated at 5.26million of which only 44.8% knew their HIV status.
HIV and other chronic diseases are relatively inexpensive to manage when diagnosed early, however, the majority of people living in high disease burden areas do not access healthcare services due to perceived or actual barriers of accessibility, overburdened health systems, lack of confidentiality and stigma.
Mobile clinics such as the Tutu tester at DTHF with point-of-care (POC) diagnostics may be a potential solution for
making healthcare more accessible to hard-to-reach and high-risk populations in under-resourced communities of Africa.
This shift in healthcare out of facilities and into communities could facilitate early diagnosis of HIV, which is seen as
the gateway to ART and effective prevention and care.