In partnership with China-based AOS and with generous support from DC-based Medical Care Development International, PATS was established in June 2007 as a one-year pilot program to test the effectiveness of our model: using trained community health workers to provide care, education and support to 16 of AOS's HIV-positive children and their caretakers. Data from the PATS pilot program demonstrated that providing community health worker support resulted in 98% adherence to treatment. This was a huge success given the challenges of adhering to anti-retroviral treatment such as taking medication daily at precise times, ensuring proper nutrition, and managing side effects like nausea and diarrhea. Given this success, PATS and AOS are working to expand this program to include all identified HIV-positive children in certain areas of Anhui and Henan provinces.

PATS and AOS work well together: AOS uses their established trust and respected position in the community to identify new HIV-positive children in need of additional assistance. AOS provides them with the basic care and support such as placement in foster homes and educational, material and psychosocial support. PATS complements this work by providing technical and financial assistance to ensure that HIV-positive children also receive the following:

  • Comprehensive medical support
  • Access to medication
  • Nutritional support
  • Educated caretakers

In addition, PATS works to strengthen existing infrastructure eventually enabling AOS and the local health system to meet the needs of the children through locally sustained means.