Psychosocial Support and Counseling

 


A counselor provides support to a couple at Mubende RRH.

USAID/SUSTAIN supports hospitals to integrate psychosocial support and counseling into their routine HIV care and treatment packages. HIV-infected persons are counseled on a variety of issues, including disclosing their HIV status, adhering to treatment and behavior change to promote healthy lifestyles. In addition, adherence counseling helps to teach clients how to take antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) correctly and consistently and to minimize side effects. New behaviors learned and supported through counseling result in improved well-being and quality of life for clients and their family members. Through mentorship, the project supports facilities to empower clients with self-management skills, which enables patients and their families to take responsibility of their own care and continue to live fulfilling lives.

Achievements

  • All SUSTAIN-supported hospitals have established client peer support groups for adolescents, mothers in prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) programs, and couples with discordant HIV statuses to compliment individual psychological support offered by counselors.
  • SUSTAIN-supported hospitals offer clients both in care and initiated on antiretroviral therapy (ART) counseling and psychological support on adherence, coping, and positive living.
  • Using the newly-developed Ministry of Health (MOH) curriculum, 61 healthcare providers participated in trainings on pediatric and adolescent HIV counseling and psychological support.
  • As a result of the ongoing psychosocial support, the proportion of clients on ART with good adherence has improved from 81% in December 2014 to 93% in March 2016.