Community Consultation: WHO ARV guidelines


In June 2013, the World Health Organization released the Consolidated Guidelines on the Use of Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ARV) for HIV Treating and Preventing HIV Infection, to influence how people living with HIV and those most at risk of acquiring HIV can access antiretroviral drugs. 

To inform the development of these guidelines the Alliance and GNP+ conducted a community consultation to reflect the realities of people and communities living with and affected by HIV.

How was the consultation done?

The community consultations utilised the following methods: an e-survey, e-forum discussions and thematic focus group discussions. The multi-language online e-survey explored key preferences regarding ART initiation and operational aspects of ART service delivery for different populations. Moderated multi-language e-forum discussions explored more nuanced or contentious aspects of the same topics.

Additionally, GNP+ and the International Community of Women Living with HIV (ICW) conducted focus group discussions in Uganda and Malawi, exploring perspectives on and experiences of lifelong ART for pregnant women living with HIV (WLHIV) (Option B+) to protect the health of women and prevent vertical transmission of HIV.

Who took part in the consultation?

Overall, 1,088 people from 117 countries responded to the e-survey; 955 people subscribed to the e-forums and posted 155 responses; and 88 people participated in the focus group discussions in Uganda and Malawi. The surveyed populations included people living with HIV, people not living with HIV, transgender people, pregnant women, adolescents and other young people, men who have sex with men (MSM), people who inject drugs, sex workers, refugees and migrants. Both the e-forum and the e-surveys included respondents from Africa, Middle East, Asia, North America, Caribbean, Latin America, Eastern and Western Europe, and the Pacific regions. The focus group discussions in Uganda and Malawi included both women and men.

How were the results of the consultation used to inform the 2013 ARV Guidelines?

The findings of the consultation were disseminated during the guideline development stage at the World Health Organization, Geneva. They were also disseminated at a number of other international conferences including:

  • Poster presentations the 7th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention 30 June– 3 July 2013 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • Poster presentation and panels discussion at the IAPAC / BHIVA Conference on Controlling the HIV Epidemic with Antiretrovirals, 22 - 24 September 2013 at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London, United Kingdom.

Translated executive summaries in Spanish, Arabic, Russian and French will be available on this site soon.

A guide for community leaders and civil society organisations on how to implement the WHO ARV Guidelines is available here.