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Dear community, am trying to find out if any programs have evaluated the role of PLHIV support groups. Would appreciate if people could share some resources on whether these interventions have had any impact on HIV related outcomes.Moses
Dear Moses,PLHIV support group activities help to build hope for patients when theysee others that have same problem.It is a good forum for them to bring out their problems. It increases/prolong their lives. The forum helps to take care of their psycho-socialissues.It creates more time for lectures on adherence (Timing of ARV's,consequences of missed appointment) etc. It increases Community and familyHIV testing.It helps to minimize stigma and discrimination in the facility, communityas well as family. Reduces self stigma among PLHIV.Thanks so much.
Just to let you know that our paper, which describes how support groups arehelpful to HIV adolescents, has been published and is available at:http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0070254
Dear Moses,our project, USAID ASSIST, is actually doing some work on this area, not the support groups per se but looking at how the chronic care model impactsHIV services. There are several elements of the CCM which include patient self management and community to name 2 of them. patient self management component involves utilizing PLHIVs who have been adhering and doing well on treatment to help support other patients who may have been recently diagnosed or starting treatment. They would provide support through adherence support and sharing their own experiences to motivate their peers. This activity is currently being done in Uganda, and we will be looking at how the elements of this model impact patient outcomes. Regards,Pamela
Dear Moses, I have interviewed PLHIV who have shared how support groups have helped give them a new lease on life, some have even met their new life partner within the support group setting. Do you need quotes or are you asking for a scientific paper on the matter?Karen
Peer Support by PLWHA has been a model that has saved so many lives , Iguess including mine. Clinical information regarding ARVs , adherence anddealing with side effects are explained using a layman's language. Thishelps recently diagnosed to envision and have an idea of how to cope withtheir diagnosis , I should quickly point out that this mostly applies toindividuals in the community whose interaction level is the same. The more educated and professional the more peer to peer for PLHIV getscomplicated unless if its North America , in Africa you would rarely have asupport group of professionals living with HIV. Efforts are underway to establish these support groups. Believe DhliwayoSexual Reproductive Health Rights Technical AdvisorCoalition of Women Living with HIV & AIDS - Makda Building 1st Floor.Next to (NBS) New Buidling Society Bank - Along Colbry Road -Area 3 - Old Town.P.O. Box 2874| Lilongwe Old Town | Malawi - AfricaEmail: MANET+|COWLHA| WUSC MalawiTele: 265 175 4336 - Ext: 106 | Cell: 265 998 340 910 | Int. #: +1647 5577226Skype: mabhindu145Web: www.cowlhamw.com ** SPONSOR A GIRL LIVING WITH HIV ATTEND SCHOOL GET IN TOUCH WITH ANNIEBANDA COWLHA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR TO SUPPORT ! cid:cid: This message contains confidential information intended only for the use ofthe individual or entity named above. Any dissemination, distribution, orcopying of this communication by anyone other than the intended recipient isstrictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error,please immediately notify us by telephone or email and delete from yourinbox. Thank you - Zikomo kwambiri
Pam, Karen allThank you for your comments and suggestions. I have been looking for papers that evaluate the impact of support groups in PLHIV. We have identified about 19 articles but lack any evaluation or program reports showing what support groups have been able to achieve and the services they support.Moses
Dear Moses,Here are a couple of articles based on the work of the International HIV AIDS Alliance in Uganda that could be helpful. We part of these publications were drawn from program evaluation. We have cited those on the publications themselves, but in case you can't retrieve them, do contact me through ITM or otherwise. 1. Hodgson I, Nakiyemba A, Seeley J, Bitira D, Gitau-Mburu D. Only connect – the role of PLHIV group networks in increasing the effectiveness of Ugandan HIV services. AIDS Care. 2012;24(11):1368–74. 2. Mburu G, Iorpenda K, Muwanga F. Expanding the role of community mobilization to accelerate progress towards ending vertical transmission of HIV in Uganda: the Networks model. J Int AIDS Soc. 2012;15(Suppl 2):17386. 3. Kim YM, Kalibala S, Neema S, Lukwago J, Weiss DC. Meaningful involvement of people living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda through linkages between network groups and health facilities: an evaluation study. Psychol Health Med. 2012;17(2):213–22. 4. Mburu G., Ram, M., Skovdal, M., Bitira, D., Hodgson , I., Mwai, G. W., Stegling, C. & Seeley , J. Resisting and challenging stigma in Uganda: the role of support groups of people living with HIV. Journal of the International AIDS Society. 16, (Suppl 2):18636Besides these examples, I know that MSF have published examples of peer support groups in mozambique, which might be useful as well.
Dear Moses,Below are a coupe of studies from the Alliance that you might find useful1. Hodgson, Nakiyemba, Seeley and Gitau-Mburu. Only connect- the role of PLHIV gropu networks in increasing the effectiveness of Ugandan HIV services. AIDS care. 2012; 24(1):1368-742. Mburu G, Iorpenda K, Muwanga F. Expanding community mobilisation to accelerate progress towards ending vertical transmission of HIV in Uganda: the Networks model. J INt AIDS Soc. 2012; 15(Suppl 2):173683. Kim et al. Meaningful involvement if people living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda through linkages between network groups and health facilities: an evaluation study. Psychol Health Med. 2012; 17(2)213-22.4. Mburu G, et al, Resisting and Challenging Resisting and challenging stigma in Uganda: the role of suport groups of people living with HIV. JIAS. 2013, 16(Suppl 2): 18636.MSF have also researched around this in mazambique, and we have cited their work in the following study:Mwai GW, Mburu G, Torpey K, Frost P, Ford N, Seeley J. Role and outcomes of community Heath workers in HIV Care in sub-saharan Africa: A systematic review. J Int AIDS SOc. 2013. 16:18586.
Hi all,In our project the issue we have run across is also dealing with is that there seems to be no clear guidance on the "how to" of a support group or use of expert patients. Our project, USAID ASSIST, has been working from our lessons learned to develop guidance on how expert patients can be recruited, supervised etc. Expert patients are just one element of peer support groups. Anecdotally from my previous work as a clinician in Guyana using HBC workers who were PLHIV, I saw marked improvement in my patients. Some presented with issues of not being able to accept their diagnosis or disclosing, and with support, later themselves became peer mentors and patient advocates. Unfortunately seems that more needs to be done to document and to ascertain the benefits of support groups etc.
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