NSP Basics

NSP Basics

Photo by Bruno de Cock/Médecins Sans Frontières.

The full name for the new NSP is “National Strategic Plan for HIV and AIDS, STIs and TB, 2012-2016”.

Vision of the new NSP

The vision of the new NSP sets ambitious, long-term targets which can direct South Africa’s AIDS response beyond the five-year coverage of the 2012–2016 NSP.

While the new NSP might only cover five years, the underlying vision looks far further into the future. As a 20-year goal, the new NSP prioritises three objectives, known as the ‘three zeros’, suggested in the UNAIDS ‘Getting to Zero’ strategy.

The ‘three zeros’ are
  1.   Zero new HIV, STI and TB infections;
  2.  Zero deaths associated with HIV and TB; and
  3. Zero discrimination.

Reaching these goals will take many years of commitment and hard work. We can use the new NSP to guide, coordinate and strengthen our efforts.

An electronic version of the full NSP, as well as a simplified version, is available on the SANAC website at www.sanac.org.za. Provincial implementation plans will also be published on this website.

NSP five-year goals

The new NSP’s five-year goals set shorter-term targets that can help us achieve the vision of the ‘three zeros’ in the long-run.

While the ‘three zeros’ is an ambitious long-term vision, most of the new NSP is concerned with short-term goals that we can try to achieve in the next five years.  The broad five-year goals inform more specific and immediate objectives, like the number of condoms we should aim to distribute per year.

The new NSP identifies the following five-year targets:
  1. Reduce new HIV infections by at least 50% using combination prevention approaches. Combination prevention approaches use a number of different prevention interventions simultaneously to help curb new infections. These interventions include, amongst others, medical male circumcision, early treatment initiation and condom roll-out.
  2. Initiate at least 80% of eligible patients on antiretroviral treatment (ART), with 70% of those alive and on treatment five years after initiation. This target demands that we not only get more people who need ARVs onto treatment, but also that we retain people in care. This requires interventions like improved adherence support, early detection of opportunistic infections, and maintaining an uninterrupted supply of antiretrovirals.
  3. Reduce the number of new TB infections as well as deaths from TB by 50%. This will require efficient diagnostics, improved infection control and better treatment.
  4. Ensure an enabling and accessible legal framework that protects and promotes human rights in order to support implementation of the NSP. This target demands a legal system that protects the right to health, life and dignity.
  5. Reduce self-reported stigma related to HIV and TB by at least 50%. Stigma and discrimination threaten basic human rights and continue to impact people’s ability to access essential services. Anti-stigma interventions will need to engage health care workers, communities, families, workplaces and institutions, and will require a re-assessment of social norms and public discourse.

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We helped write the NSP

From March to May 2011 TAC brought together the people living with HIV (PLHIV) sector to hold public consultations in seven provinces, as well as a national consultation. A number of the recommendations stemming from these meetings were included in the final NSP. After the release of the first draft in August, TAC made three further submissions.

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Strategic objectives of the new NSP

The strategic objectives of the new NSP focus our efforts by highlighting key priority areas that will help maximise our impact. These strategic objectives inform the long-term vision of the NSP as well as the five-year goals and more specific targets.

The four strategic objectives identified for the new NSP are:
  1. Focus on Social and Structural Approaches to HIV and TB Prevention, Care and Impact;
  2. Prevention of HIV and TB infections;
  3.  Sustain Health and Wellness; and
  4. Protection of Human Rights and Promotion of Access to Justice.

The new NSP gives substance to these strategic objectives by identifying a number of specific goals under each. For example, the objective to ‘Protect human rights and promote access to justice’ is substantiated by highlighting specific laws that need to be re-examined to ensure that the human rights of people living with or affected by HIV and TB are not compromised.

On the next page, some of the targets of the new NSP are explored in more detail, with specific reference to the strategic objectives they embody.