21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016)


Community ART Groups Support Adherence in South Africa

July 31, 2016

On behalf of IFARA, Fred Schaich spoke with Musa Ndlovu at this year's International AIDS Conference about a South African community involvement program for HIV treatment. Doctors Without Borders, Ndlovu's organization, promotes HIV testing, links those testing positive for the virus to public health facilities, and then provides adherence counseling and support for retention in care within the community. To facilitate distribution of antiretrovirals and to improve adherence, those on antiretroviral treatment (ART) form Community ART Groups (CAGs) whose members take turns collecting medication for everyone in the group and then distributing it locally. CAGs not only help to manage the burden of acquiring drugs but also serve as adherence support groups through information exchanges about the management of side effects and adherence strategies. Each person in a CAG is expected to travel to the health care facility at least twice a year for assessment. If people are educated on the importance of treatment and the meaning of an undetectable viral load, they will take their antiretrovirals as prescribed, Ndlovu said. In addition to counseling and information, respecting the traditional leadership in a community is important. Working with local leaders will provide access to hard-to-reach areas and promote the goal of "saving the lives of the people through their involvement," he concluded.

Watch the video to learn more:

About the panelist:

  • Musa Ndlovu, Médècins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders)

The video above has been posted on with permission from our partners at the International Foundation for Alternative Research in AIDS (IFARA). Visit IFARA's website or YouTube channel to watch more video interviews from the conference, as well as earlier meetings.

Barbara Jungwirth is a freelance writer and translator based in New York.

Follow Barbara on Twitter: @reliabletran.

Copyright © 2016 Remedy Health Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

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This article was provided by TheBodyPRO. It is a part of the publication The 21st International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016).

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