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A review of the successes and challenges of the African Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Partnerships (ACHAP), an unprecedented coalition formed in 2000 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Merck and Co, Inc., The Merck Foundation, and the Government of Botswana to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic that was ravaging the country.

Top Takeaways

  1. ACHAP broke new ground in proving the feasibility of HIV treatment in sub-Saharan Africa. The successes of Botswana emboldened the global AIDS response, shifting the dialogue to emphasize aggressive targets for treatment scale-up.
  2. ACHAP’s contributions to the HIV response need to be assessed in the context of the changing environment; the key lessons from the public-private partnership are around how the organization successfully adapted—or failed to adapt—as the epidemiological, political, HIV/AIDS knowledge, and stakeholder contexts change.
  3. ACHAP offers cautionary tales for other public-private partnerships. It underinvested in learning and evaluation, insufficiently navigated the changing political context in Botswana, and belatedly planned for the sustainability of the partnership.
ACHAP broke new ground in proving the feasibility of HIV treatment in sub-Saharan Africa.