Review of antiretroviral therapy coverage in 10 highest burden HIV countries in Africa: 2015–2020


Africa is responsible for two-thirds of the global total of new HIV infections. South Africa, Nigeria, Mozambique, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Malawi, and Ethiopia were responsible for 80% of HIV cases in Africa in 2014 according to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). This study assesses antiretroviral coverage strategies implemented by these countries after the initiation of the “Fast-Track strategy to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.” Data reported in this review were obtained from different e-bibliographic including PubMed, Google Scholar, and Research Gate. Key terms were “Antiretroviral therapy,” “Antiretroviral treatment,” “HIV treatment,” “HIV medication,” “HIV/AIDS therapy,” “HIV/AIDS treatment” + each of the countries listed earlier. We also extracted data on antiretroviral therapy (ART) coverage from the UNAIDS database. About 50 papers published from 2015 to 2021 met the inclusion criteria. All 10 countries have experienced an increase in ART coverage from 2015 to 2020 with an average of 47.6% increment. Nigeria recorded the highest increase in the rate of ART coverage (72% increase) while Ethiopia had the least (30%). New strategies adopted to increase ART coverage and retention in most countries were community-based models and the use of mobile health technology rather than clinic-based. These strategies focus on promoting task shifting, door-to-door access to HIV services, and a long-term supply of antiretroviral medications. Most of these strategies are still in the piloting stage. However, some new strategies and frameworks have been adopted nationwide in countries like Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Malawi. Identified challenges include lack of funding, inadequate testing and surveillance services, poor digital penetration, and cultural/religious beliefs. The adoption of community-based and digital health strategies could have contributed to increased ART coverage and retention. African countries should facilitate nationwide scaling of ART coverage strategies to attain the 95-95-95 goal by 2030.


Babatunde AO, Akin-Ajani OD, Abdullateef RO, Togunwa TO, Isah HO




  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Prevention, Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Engagement and Care Cascade
  • Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Treatment
  • Health Systems
    • Delivery arrangements


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