Community Health Worker Approach

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The PATS model relies on the use of trained Community Health Workers (CHWs), community members selected by AOS who have an interest in working with children with HIV/AIDS. All CHWs receive an intensive 3-day training from local HIV/AIDS doctors in basic treatment support, as well as in HIV/AIDS epidemiology and care. CHWs are then sent into the field along with a more seasoned worker, where they are given practical experience in caring for HIV-positive children and providing education to their caretakers. Once the worker is comfortable with their tasks, he or she is assigned to a particular set of children and paid a small stipend. The CHW’s frequency of household visits is determined by clinical and geographic considerations. CHWs are given refresher trainings every 6 months, receive quarterly supervision from PATS staff, and meet with supervising doctors every month to discuss each child's case. The CHW model is a simple, cost-effective way to ensure that the child adheres to their ARV treatment and receives the care and support needed both at the household and hospital levels.