Households in HIV care: designing an intervention to stimulate HIV competent households to support people living with HIV in South Africa

Date:  Thursday 1st August 2019

Time: 12.45 – 14.00

Location: LG6, Keppel Street

Speaker: Lucia Knight

Despite the Universal Test and Treat program (UTT) and widespread ART rollout South Africa is still faced with treatment challenges including treatment adherence and retention in care. Human resource shortages have implications for the capacity of the public health system to support the ART program. Sustainable treatment strategies thus require the mobilization of additional support in the form of community health workers (CHWs). While individual and community level factors for supporting adherence are understood and have been targeted the role of the household as a crucial mediating social level has largely been omitted. Recent research addresses the protective and modifiable processes in households affected by HIV and demonstrates the potential of the household-level to provide support for the provision of CHW support for HIV care in a resource-limited settings.

In order to capitalize optimally on the opportunities created by the South African ART program and the recent plans to initiate a UTT Program, this research outlines the design of an intervention to stimulate the involvement of the household in the chronic disease support for people living with HIV (PLWH) in South Africa. This project aims to investigate to what extent and how an household intervention can: (1) increase HIV competence in PLWH and their households, and subsequently; (2) improve prevention and treatment outcomes. The 6SQUID model guided the intervention development process to address the identified steps in three phases. This presentation describes this process of intervention development.

Lucia Knight is a social scientist with particular experience in the study of HIV, families, poverty and social protection in Southern Africa. She is an Associate Professor at the School of Public Health at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. She completed her PhD at LSHTM, on ‘Social Networks and State Grants: Sustaining the Livelihoods of Households Affected by HIV and AIDS in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa’. She is currently working on a study designing and testing a model for a family-based intervention to improve ART adherence and is also working on a project exploring access to care and ART adherence among older people living with HIV in the Western Cape.

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