HIV and AIDS - Care and Support

Background: The needs of people living with HIV and AIDS extend far beyond clinical services and ARV’s. Whilst these are essential for the management of the disease, in order to really meet the needs of PLWHIV (People Living With HIV) a comprehensive care strategy needs to be adopted. This strategy is Care and Support.

Care and Support consists of several layers:

  • HIV counselling and testing to ensure early diagnosis.
  • Psychosocial support to help people to deal with the implications of a life threatening disease.
  • Social support should be provided to HIV positive people, their families and their communities. This support should provide coping mechanisms for economic and social consequences of sickness and death due to AIDS.

Communities and community organisations play a vital role in Care and Support to individuals living with HIV and their families.  Their work includes provision of vital information, emotional and spiritual support, protection against discrimination and violation of their rights. Advocacy to ensure provision of essential resources is also a part of Care and Support.

Care and Support for people living with HIV plays a fundamental role in prevention. The provision of accurate information and therefore early testing is vital to prevention programmes.

Zoë-Life’s Role:

Zoë-Life has been instrumental in supporting care and support programmes by strengthening capacity of lay counsellors to provide comprehensive psychosocial support to individuals, families and communities affected by HIV. Components such as nutrition and adherence have been developed and trained by Zoë-Life.