Having access to antiretroviral therapy is most likely the easiest part of treating HIV. Achieving and maintaining successful clinical outcomes increases the challenge. There is a need for programs providing antiretroviral therapy to see patients beyond an HIV diagnosis. Treating patients comprehensively is the goal of the Community Based Treatment Support Services (CBTS) component. Modeled after the JACQUES Initiative, the CBTS teams all over Africa and the Caribbean through the Clinical Division of the Institute of Human Virology of the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine have set up community treatment programs that support this model of care.
The model is very simple. Provide patients and their families highly active support at initiation of treatment which will enable them to be rapidly successful and continue to provide a level of support that allows for maintenance of continued success. This model uses the community as its framework and builds a network of care and support lead and run by the community.
Through an integrated model of community support, patients are prepared for treatment, supported by community members and other patients through home visits, and integrated into continuous care and support through support groups.
As we have expanded into the community the CBTS component has been able to link and develop a network of support and services with other community groups. Through extensive training and capacity building patients in many of the facilities that we serve have become peer counselors, supporters and trainers.
CBTS works to meet the following specific goals:
For more information on the CBTS Program please contact: Martine Etienne, DrPH, Director – Community Based Treatment Support Services Program.