GUADALAJARA, Mexico – In Mozambique, a country where the burden of HIV and tuberculosis coinfection is high, a community-based organization is bringing services home in an effort to protect people living with HIV from dying of tuberculosis.
Working with local health care facilities, and community-based counselors, ADPP works to identify household contacts and sexual partners of people living with HIV and to provide HIV counseling and testing and TB screening, prevention and treatment services, Dr. Sugata Mukhopadhyay said during an Oct. 13 session here.
Using mobile technology, the counselors communicate directly with the health providers to learn test results and care needs and provide follow-up support for TB treatment, TB preventive therapy, and/or new initiation of antiretroviral therapy.
Counselors provide services and support to family members as well as patients, including TB education, Mukhopadhyay said.
The project counselors work with TB patients to create support groups, either a “duo” that includes the patient and a family member, or a “trio” with the patient, a family member and a community member. The project provides a supportive environment for people with HIV already linked to care while also identifying other household members in need of HIV and TB services.
While social stigmas continue to challenge reaching sexual partners outside of patients’ homes and families, the intervention has shown itself effective in finding a largely neglected population, Mukhopadhyay said.
“Tracking HIV index cases and their household members is a good way to reach larger number of children.”