Evidence shows that to achieve HIV Strategic Plan's goals and health equity, ethical and legal issues of the National HIV Programmes need to be addressed. Thus, this study aimed to conduct ethical evaluation of the Iran's 4th National Strategic Plan (NSP) for HIV/AIDS prevention and control (2015–2019).
In this qualitative study, Focus Group Discussion (FGD) was used to collect necessary data through applying a framework for ethical evaluation of public health programmes which was designed by Akrami et al. (2018). After obtaining official permissions, two FGDs with participation of HIV programme experts and representatives from partner organizations were separately organized to evaluate the NSP.
The ethical evaluation of the 4th NSP showed that the programme priorities have been set based on epidemiological evidence, and objectives, strategies and expected results have been separately set for general and key populations. Despite existence of related national guidelines, they have not been referred to and some of the risks such as breaching confidentiality leading to stigma and discrimination have not been clearly addressed that could affect the programme effectiveness. Universal access, capacity building, inter-sectoral collaboration and community participation were among points of strength. The procedural evaluation showed that despite participation of the programme partner organizations, public justification was not included in the NSP.
Ethical evaluation of the 4thNSP shows that the programme is acceptable to be implemented with some refinements. It is required to address some ethical and legal issues and also to adopt administrative health laws to prohibit stigma and discrimination.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Ethics, HIV/AIDS, Prevention, Strategic plan, Stigma, Discrimination