“We felt the urgency to act – MaxART introduced an innovative approach”

“We felt the urgency to act – MaxART introduced an innovative approach”

Two questions for Peter Ehrenkranz, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Swaziland - HIV Care and Treatment Lead (2009-2011), Country Director (2012-2014)

What is the best part of the MaxART programme?

“In 2011, when the Swaziland HIV Incidence Measurement Survey (SHIMS) showed a national HIV prevalence rate of 31%, it was clear that something audacious was needed to accelerate the fight against this devastating epidemic. Conveniently, “something audacious” was exactly what the Dutch Postcode Lottery was looking to fund. Designing and implementing the MaxART programme helped to build the crucial partnership between the Ministry of Health, implementing partners and donors. Everybody was feeling the urgency.”

Peter Ehrenkranz Peter Ehrenkranz

What makes the HIV response in Swaziland different from approaches in other countries?

“Swaziland systematically uses data to inform programming decisions. The best example of this is a national HIV data review, called by the Ministry of Health every 6 months. This meeting brings implementers and donors together with key Ministry of Health leaders from both frontline facilities and cross-cutting central units like supply chain, laboratory, and monitoring and evaluation. The participants share results, successes, and challenge each other to improve in a setting of peer-to-peer accountability. When the 2017 SHIMS 2 survey revealed that the rate of HIV infections had declined by 44%, everyone was filled with pride. I am certain that the semi-annual reviews were key to this success. I give tremendous credit to both the Ministry of Health and the partners for continuing to lead and support the reviews.”

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