A handbook for network support agents and other community workers supporting HIV prevention, care support and treatment

A handbook for network support agents and other community workers supporting HIV prevention, care support and treatment

A handbook for those working in the community who supporting HIV prevention, care, support and treatment

Uganda like many other developing countries, suffers from inequitable distribution of health workers between rural and urban areas and between public and private sectors. To strengthen the referral systems, people living with HIV have been trained as Network Support Agents (NSA) to work alongside health care workers in health facilities. This handbook has been designed to help NSAs and other community-based volumteers/providers to be more effective in disseminating standardised HIV and AIDs information at grassroorts levels. While the handbook is specific to Uganda, it covers

The handbook emphasizes the importance of the acquisition of knowledge, skills and the right attitude needed to identify the psychosocial needs of people living with HIV/AIDS and address these needs by giving information, counselling and appropriate referrals.

The handbook provides key information on a broad range of areas affecting people living with HIV/AIDS including: 

  • basic communication skills for counselling and situations where counselling might be needed
  • HIV and ARV treatment and the ABC of Septrin, the antibiotic used for treatment of infections and as a prophylaxis for opportunistic infections
  • food and nutrition basics and home based care
  • Illness and HIV/AIDs including other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and Tuberculosis
  • focussing on the family including integrating family planning into prevention of mother to child transmission, working with orphans and vulnerable children, and preparing a will
  • understanding gender roles in the context of HIV/AIDS,  positive prevention and behavioural change and getting the community educated and involved  
  • stress management and caring for NSAs


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