HIV Prevention, Care & Treatment
Adherence Psychosocial Support and Community Partnerships
At THPS we implement adherence psychosocial support and community partnerships (APSC) program to contribute to the MoHCDGEC goals of promoting the continuum of care, increasing utilization of services and ensure retention in care and adherence to treatment for people living with HIV (PLHIV) through:
- health education,
- adherence and psychosocial support to PLHIV at facility,
- Community and family levels. .
Expert patients as agents of change: THPS have trained xxxx PLHIV who serve as Peer Educators and Lay Counsellors for other patients served at supported health facilities and their surrounding communities. Specifically during the initial challenging period of a new HIV diagnosis they play a major role in helping with coping mechanisms, and being able to demonstrate positive outcomes with real-life success stories based on their own experiences with HIV. Our Peer educators and lay counsellors have provided health education based on testimonials, individual counselling on adherence to ART, facilitate disclosure, provide information on ART side effects, positive living including condom use, and facilitate internal referrals to new and very ill patients. Working in the community, Peer Educators trace clients lost to follow up, establish support groups, and link PLHIV with other existing support services. The involvement and participation of community-based support groups in the intervention help to mitigate stigma and discrimination, and enhance psychosocial support to PLHIVs, contributing to increased adherence rates to care and treatment among patients.
Adolescent Peer Educators: We have established 19 children and adolescent clubs; these are avenues to socialize with peers and discuss about social life, preventing new infections and enhance positivity. Adolescent peer education is another strategy to provide friendly services to children and adolescents living with HIV. THPS has trained xxx adolescent peer educators who reach out to support their peers attending care and treatment services and assist them to increase knowledge, improve adherence and disclosure, increase retention, change attitudes and sexual behavior among youth living with HIV. The ‘Tanzanite girls’ are specific peers targeting adolescent and young girls for their specific needs. In addition there are family days, annual camps and bonanzas where children and adolescents get time to relax, play, interact and have fun and normalize their HIV status. [PIX]
Health provider’s role in Adherence to ART and retention in HIV care: THPS enhances health care providers’ skills to provide quality adherence counselling and disclosure to people living with HIV. Specific trainings include ‘advanced adherence counselling’ and ‘enhanced adherence counselling’ to assist clients with poor adherence and high viral load test results.
Psychosocial support groups for pregnant and lactating mothers: THPS established and is supporting psychosocial support groups (PSG) for HIV positive pregnant women and their families to enhance adherence to PMTCT interventions through provision of psychosocial support, health education to enable families make informed PMTCT decisions and link them to CTC and community social support. PSG also enables clients to accept their HIV status and disclosure.
Using Technology: THPS works with TAYOA to send SMS remainders to clients who have consented. Messages provide information on various issues: Importance of attending clinics as scheduled, use of ART as directed, Nutrition, Myths on HIV, stigma, disclosure, adherence, retention, TB/HIV, family planning, prevention of new infections, Importance of CD4 and Viral load testing.