Implementation of South Africa's Central Chronic Medicine Dispensing and Distribution Program for HIV Treatment

A Qualitative Evaluation

Published in: AIDS and Behavior (2022) DOI: 10.1007/s10461-022-03602-y

Posted on RAND.org on June 23, 2022

by Laura M. Bogart, Zinhle Shazi, Sarah MacCarthy, Alexandra Mendoza-Graf, Nafisa J. Wara, Dani Zionts, Nduduzo Dube, Sabina Govere, Ingrid V. Bassett

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We used the Practical, Robust Implementation and Sustainability Model to evaluate implementation of South Africa's Central Chronic Medicine Dispensing and Distribution (CCMDD) program, a differentiated service delivery program which allows clinically stable HIV-positive patients to receive antiretroviral therapy refills at clinic- or community-based pick-up points. Across ten clinics, we conducted 109 semi-structured interviews with stakeholders (pick-up point staff, CCMDD service providers and administrators) and 16 focus groups with 138 patients. Participants had highly favorable attitudes and said CCMDD decreased stigma concerns. Patient-level barriers included inadequate education about CCMDD and inability to get refills on designated dates. Organizational-level barriers included challenges with communication and transportation, errors in medication packaging and tracking, rigid CCMDD rules, and inadequate infrastructure. Recommendations included: (1) provide patient education and improve communication around refills (at the patient level); (2) provide dedicated space and staff, and ongoing training (at the organizational/clinic level); and (3) allow for prescription renewal at pick-up points and less frequent refills, and provide feedback to clinics (at the CCMDD program level).

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