This case describes the rapid scale-up of South Africa’s national HIV/AIDS response from 2009 until 2015. After providing background on apartheid, the impact of HIV/AIDS denialism, and an overview of the health system in South Africa, the case follows Minster of Health Aaron Motsoaledi’s leadership of the national department of health’s HIV/AIDS program. The response included four key components: a countrywide counseling and testing campaign, capacity building to increase access to treatment, an overhaul of the ARV bidding and procurement processes, and promotion of voluntary male medical circumcision. The case highlights how Motsoaledi and his team leveraged expertise and resources from domestic and international organizations to support ambitious testing and treatment goals. It focuses on Motsoaledi’s communication strategies and the factors that influenced his planning and implementation decisions. The case ends with Motsoaledi considering how to advance the national HIV/AIDS program amid larger health system issues, including overcrowding and limited monitoring capacity.
Teaching Note available through Harvard Business Publishing.
Promotion of prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV (source: Global Health Delivery Project case writers)
Learning Objectives: A productive class discussion will allow students to appreciate how politics can shape the trajectory of an epidemic; the importance of leveraging existing resources to scale services in a public health system; the challenges of transitioning from an emergency response to a sustainable public program; and the competing interests of a vertical intervention program and the complex health system within which it operates.
Keywords: Political leadership, data and health policy, counseling and testing, adherence, advocacy, HIV treatment, health care delivery, cross-sector collaboration, vertical programs, value creation, drug procurement, civil society, strategy