ART Adherence Club Project

Introduction

This project was started in 2009 in conjunction with the Free State HIV and AIDS Coalition and the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC).

HIV Treatment Literacy Practitioners are trained by CMT (Community Media Trust) in all aspects of HIV and TB including:

  • HIV Prevention
  • Science of HIV
  • Anti Retro Viral Therapy
  • Prevention of HIV mother-to-child transmission
  • Prevention and Treatment of TB
  • Rights to Health and Treatment

Mosamaria progressed from 2014 into running over 840 ART Adherence Clubs with over 25,000 club members, at 21 different primary health care facilities in the Mangaung Metro currently. Anyone who is stable on ART and has an undetectable viral load count for more than one year, qualifies for membership of these clubs.

These clubs meet at the different clinics early in the morning or during the day or late afternoon, and a member can collect his/her medication and be out of the club within one hour, so that they can go to work. Members do not stand in queues waiting to see the nursing sisters nor at the pharmacy.
Every two months they just go straight to the Club Facilitator in a special meeting place and have a quick health check, a brief discussion on a relative topic about living a healthy life with HIV, take their medications, and leave.

This service has also alleviated the overloading of the professional nurses and overcrowding at the clinics.

Current Situation

Our ART Adherence Club programme has over 25,000 club members now. They meet once every two months as a club, have a quick health screening, a short health talk on a subject pertinent to their lives, they bond and share problems and successes, then get their pre-packed ART medication and leave the clinic within an hour.

Each Club has all its members registered on the Central Chronic Medicine Dispensing and Distribution service which is paid by the National Department of Health to deliver chronic medication directly to the cubs where the members meet. Once the members feel that they no longer need this support, they migrate to receiving their medication from Pick up Points (PUPs) which could be Clicks or another pharmacy, or the automatic dispensing units.

This project has been funded by the Anglo American Chairman’s Fund, and Right to Care. Our target is to have 42,000 people in our adherence programme by March 2019. This will slow down the spread of HIV because when one is stable on ART, there is very little risk of transmitting the virus.

Our major challenge at present is that our contract with Right to Care ends at the end of March 2019 and we will not be able to continue providing this much needed service without securing another funder.