HIV Peer Mentors in Morogoro

As coverage of HIV prevention, care and treatment services expands and programs mature, greater attention is being paid to strengthening the capacity of health systems to provide and sustain high quality HIV and AIDS services, including antiretroviral therapy (ART), prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT), voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC), HIV counseling and testing, integration of HIV services with other clinical services, home-based care and community support, injection safety, and medical waste management.

Improvement methods help HIV and AIDS programs to: 1) provide services for all who need them, 2) retain all those who access services in the continuum of care, and 3) achieve optimal health outcomes for all those who are retained in care.  Strategies to improve coverage of HIV-infected mothers by PMTCT services, especially in antenatal care and at delivery, and improve the follow-up of mother-baby pairs can maximize the uptake of PMTCT services and promote HIV-free survival by assuring that all eligible infants and mothers get needed PMTCT services.  Adult treatment, care, and support can be improved by applying a chronic care model to service delivery and strengthening linkages with community and home-based care.

Empathy as tool for minimizing the self-stigma and binding groups together

This success story shares the experience of a young woman who, when diagnosed as HIV-positive, received support from ASSIST-trained Peer Mentors in Tanzania. The peer mentors helped her gain skills to manage her health and provided emotional support to her. Over time, she became a peer mentor, motivated by her experience and driven to assist others who her in the same situation.


Improving PMTCT in Kenya

In 2013, the USAID Applying Science to strengthen and Improve Systems (ASSIST) project supported the National AIDS and STI Control Program (NASCOP) to launch the Partnership for HIV Free Survival (PHFS) initiative in Kenya to apply quality improvement (QI) to drive the national elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV (eMTCT) strategic plan 2012-2015.

Tested Changes to Improve Nutrition Assessment, Counseling, and Support in HIV Care in Zambia

From 2014-2017, the USAID ASSIST Project collaborated with FANTA III and LIFT II to support the Government of Zambia to pilot nutrition assessment, counseling, and support (NACS) as part of HIV care in Kitwe and Mkushi districts, representing both urban and rural districts. The pilot activity was funded by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through USAID and designed to support the continued adoption, adaptation, and scale-up of NACS as a standard of care within national HIV/AIDS programs in Zambia.

Improving identification of new HIV positive children and adults: the role of community structures

The USAID Applying Science to Strengthen and Improve Systems project (ASSIST), in collaboration with orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) implementing partner, Uganda Private Health Support Program (UPHS), set out to improve case finding of HIV-infected children and their caregivers using a quality improvement (QI) approach in the central region of Uganda. Stigma and discrimination associated with HIV positive results are known challenges to accessing HIV counseling and testing services (UNAIDS 2015).