DEVELOPMENT OF PROMOTION PROCESS FOR ANTIRETROVIRAL ACCESS IN SEXUAL PARTNERS OF HIV INFECTED PATIENTS
This action research aimed to develop a process to promote access to antiretroviral (ARV) drugs for sexual partners of HIV infected patients. The participation of a multidisciplinary team and HIV infected patients was done in an HIV care clinic at Phonthong Hospital in Roi-et Province, Thailand. The team was comprised of a physician, a pharmacist, a registered nurse, and HIV patients. Process development consisted of three stages. Stage one was planning and included two focus discussion groups to set process protocols. Stage two was acting and observing, in which the planned process protocols were implemented for 5 months with 81 HIV infected couples and their sexual partners. Stage three was reflecting on the process implementation, which included a focus discussion group by 3 practitioners at the HIV clinic. The results showed that in stage one, 3 practical protocols with 6 steps were established to promote access to ARV drugs for the sexual partners of the HIV infected patients. Following the implementation of stage two, results showed that 1) six of the HIV infected patients had disclosed their HIV status to their sexual partners 2) eight sexual partners had been diagnosed with HIV 3) five sexual partners had accessed ARV drugs 4) all five of the sexual partners (100%) who accessed the ARV drugs had knowledge about HIV and its treatment and willingly adhered to it, and 5) three sexual partners tested negative for HIV ≥ 1 year accessed HIV repeated test. In stage three, practitioners in the HIV care clinic had added one more protocol step to cover more at-risk people. This step resulted in two of the sexual partners who tested negative for HIV being retested ≥ 1 year. It is concluded that developing a process to promote access to ARV drugs for sexual partners of HIV infected patients enabled them to disclose their HIV to their sexual partners. This process may lead to a policy to eradicate AIDS in 2030.
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