I am doing a series on a topic that is of concern to a lot of people. It is HIV Aids. This topic is discussed with a great deal of hopelessness. There is, for some reason, a perception that there is nothing being done about this condition in the United States. My research has found nothing is further from the truth. The “Aids in Action” organization has started a program called Connecting to Care and this is a two-prong approach that hits rural and city areas addressing the issue of AIDS. The program attacks the problem on a number of different levels. So far I have written about the fact that in rural areas there is something called “triage counseling” and that means people who are suffering from AIDS are separated into groups based on what type of problems they are having and how far advanced their condition is. In addition to that there has been the development of a position called the Home Based Treatment Coordinator. They actually go into the field to find people with aids who are not seeking treatment.
Another methodology being used by this organization is they have created a workshop series called “Managing Our HIV.” The idea is to have a group intervention and participation. The other objectives are to help patients to develop strategies for medication adherence and to become active in their health care and also to provide patients with information about how medications affect their body. While this is simple it is very important to understand it because of affectations and interactions with other drugs.
The way that it works is that a coordinator finds a person who is HIV positive. They get a budget and they find a shelter in perhaps the form of a clinic and they set up a meeting at which time people are signed up. There is a limit of 10 people per session and in addition people are offered $15.00 to participate in the program.
One of the positives is it takes a minimum staff simply of an educator and a person who is HIV positive since guest speakers are utilized.
However, on a weak fact that is you have to bribe people with $15.00 and the also the fact that there are not a large number of male participants. Another problem is there can be volatility in the attendance and participation of the people.
There is evidence of success based on improvement of participants’ life coping skills.
It is good to see such a comprehensive action with respect to such a major problem.
“Connecting to Care,” “Addressing Unmet Need in HIV,” Booklet, “Managing Our HIV”