ARVs are the mainstay of treatment. The criteria governing who benefits from ARVs change as and when advice from WHO is updated. So far the implications are that more people will benefit from them. In June 2011 with the criteria for starting ARVs based on a CD4 count of less than 250 cells per mm3, there were 251,790 adults on ARVs, equivalent to 76% of eligible cases, and 25,197 children on ARVs equivalent to only 32% of eligible children.

Strategies have been put in place to increase adult coverage to 80% in 2011/2 and by 20% each year in children, in order to reach the MDG target of 80% ahead of time. If additional resources are mobilized to fund the increase in cases derived from the CD4 count change to 350 and the increase in maternity cases, numbers will have to be revised upwards in the course of the implementation of the HSSP.

ART is complemented by the treatment of Opportunistic Infections (OIs) and community-based home care for AIDS patients. Currently, the coverage of OI treatment is about 20% of need and there are plans to increase coverage by 10% annually. The coverage of home-based care is adequate given the resources available, but the quality of care and the availability of drugs are important and need improvement.