Mixed-Methods Evaluation of a Novel, Structured, Community-Based Support and Education Intervention for Individuals with HIV/AIDS in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

AIDS and behavior, Volume 20, Issue 9, p.1937-50 (2016)

Abstract:

People living with HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa face significant challenges accessing care. Community-based peer support groups can increase linkage to treatment, though the effectiveness of structured, scalable groups has not been demonstrated. This study aimed to measure the impact of the structured Integrated Access to Care and Treatment intervention on clients' knowledge, attitudes, and practice regarding HIV/AIDS, including their experiences of stigma, in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Data collection involved pre-/post-tests and client interviews. Pre-/post-test data from 66 clients were collected. 17 participants were interviewed. Paired t-tests did not detect significant changes in the main outcomes. Qualitative results suggested a psychosocial benefit as participants connected with their peers, expressed themselves openly, and re-engaged with their communities. Unfortunately, this study did not quantitatively measure psychosocial changes, and the results have limited generalizability to men. I ACT may be an effective complement to clinic-based support services, though further study should quantify the psychosocial benefit.