Preventing HIV under financial constraints: the 2011–12 reform of the Portuguese HIV/AIDS Programme

GF Augusto , I Aldir, J Bettencourt, Melo, T., S Dias, Alexandre Vieira Abrantes , MR Martins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The national HIV/AIDS Programme has been a core health programme in Portugal, and has led the country’s response to the HIV epidemics since the 1980s. In 2011, the Portuguese Government reorganised central services and reformed all vertical programmes, including the HIV/AIDS Programme. This paper describes the main features of that reform and analyses selected outcomes, as well as how those financial constraints affected the response to HIV/AIDS. Despite some transitory cuts in spending, the National Programme for HIV/AIDS Infection was able to successfully expand testing and prevention interventions. Strategic partnerships with non-governmental and community-based organisations were crucial to continue delivering adequate HIV testing services and reaching most-at-risk groups. Scaling-up access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), improving access and adherence to antiretroviral therapy, and continuously promoting access to HIV testing services and HIV self-testing are the main challenges that the National Programme for HIV/AIDS Infection will face in the upcoming years.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-344
Number of pages5
JournalHealth Policy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • Health programme
  • Health care reform
  • Austerity
  • Portugal

UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-Being

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