228954 Improving HIV-related service delivery in sub-Saharan Africa: Learning from those we serve

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Erick Amick, MPH, MA , The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Lindsay Briggs, PhD, MPH , Department of Health & Community Services, California State University, Chico, Chico, CA
Ariane V. Hollub, PhD, CHES, OTR , Department of Health & Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Brian Dodge, PhD , Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Michael Reece, PhD, MPH , Center for Sexual Health Promotion, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
Background: To be successful in low resource, high stigma environments, HIV prevention programs must be adaptive and responsive to the needs of the communities they serve. This is especially true in sub-Saharan Africa where HIV prevention and treatment efforts are critical. This study examined the experiences of individuals enrolled in HIV-related services in western Kenya to assess their perceptions of mechanisms through which service delivery could be improved.

Methods: In order to elicit the perceptions of individuals living with HIV, a total of 146 individuals participated in 16 focus groups related to their experiences with participation in HIV-related programs conducted in four geographically diverse regions of western Kenya. Thematic analysis was used to assess these perceptions.

Results: Themes centered around a number of mechanisms related to strategies for improving HIV prevention and treatment programs in this region. Primary mechanisms were related to streamlining services, improving recruitment and retention of participants, providing educational and tangible benefits of program participation, and expanding community outreach.

Conclusions: These data provide insights into the development and improvement of strategies to engage and retain participants in HIV-related services, which may lead to improved outcomes for individuals living with and affected by HIV. Gaining insight from participants in HIV programs can assist with the identification of barriers to care that HIV program designers may not have previously considered and have implications for program improvement.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control

Learning Objectives:
Identify ways in which program participants can be incorporated into program design and improvement. Discuss strategies to overcome barriers to program participation and retention. Discuss implications for future research on this topic.

Keywords: Community Health Programs, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I collected the data for this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.