The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has long supported the government of the Dominican Republic to strengthen its HIV response and attain the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets by 2020. As the country nears epidemic control, the Dominican government must mobilize new resources and support a more efficient national response to sustain and continue advancing its progress to date. SHOPS Plus works with USAID and local partners to support these goals by institutionalizing the role of the private sector in the HIV response, mobilizing domestic investment, and developing markets for HIV products.
SHOPS Plus is strengthening the efficiency and sustainability of select NGOs to transition to social enterprise business models and helping them access new revenue sources so they can continue offering HIV services at no cost to key and priority populations. As a part of this work, SHOPS Plus supported three NGOs to contract with Seguro Nacional de Salud (SENASA), the country’s health insurance plan, to receive payments for HIV services–a first for the country. The project has developed a manual and trained a local NGO consortium on the process to facilitate more NGOs to contract with SENASA. In addition, SHOPS Plus is supporting the Dominican government to increase the number of private providers formally participating in the national HIV response by developing standardized processes and policies for the government to implement a social contracting program with NGO providers. Further, SHOPS Plus has institutionalized new protocols to increase the enrollment of people living with HIV in SENASA-an important step to address financial barriers to care and to ensure that contracted NGOs can receive payment for the services they deliver. Finally, the project has developed a proposal to include ARVs in the Family Health Insurance benefits package. This proposal would mobilize a secure, sustainable domestic financing scheme for these lifesaving commodities.
In addition, SHOPS Plus is supporting innovations in the Dominican Republic’s HIV response. To help the country reach its 95-95-95 goals, SHOPS Plus has assessed and is convening stakeholders to generate the evidence for the potential introduction of HIV self-test kits to expand access to HIV testing services.
Photo credit: © 2009 Jessie Kalsmith and © 2007 Helen Hawkings, Courtesy of Photoshare