Towards a new HIV Plan: methods

In the course of 2018, the Monitoring Committee initiated the process for the development of a new national HIV plan.

A new plan was considered necessary since it provides a policy framework to collaborate and communicate with the health authorities. Therefore, the proposed priorities and actions should be framed within the competences of the federal health authority in the domains of public health and chronic diseases. Besides, it was also understood that the HIV Plan should be embedded within the respective regional frameworks concerning health promotion and prevention.

The content of the plan was constructed around the four strategic pillars to fight HIV: prevention, testing, care and quality of life, following the same structure as the previous HIV plan.

For each pillar, a working group made up of experts in the field was set up. Based on an assessment of the epidemiological context and gaps in the response, the working groups formulated a number of priorities and actions. In a first phase, these were presented to and validated by field organisations and other relevant stakeholders. For this purpose, different methods were used, such as focus group discussions, workshops, questionnaire surveys and a Delphi-consultation. The Positive Council provided a transversal feedback to the aforementioned pillars. In a subsequent phase, a consultation round with the regional health authorities was organised. The feedback received was incorporated and a writing group with representatives of each pillar was established to further coordinate the synchronization and completion of the plan. Various internal review rounds guided the redaction. Finally, the Monitoring Committee invited the UNAIDS Representative to the European Union to provide support to the HIV Plan 2020-2026.