WiRED Offers 15 Health Training Modules on HIV/AIDS
The theme of this year’s World AIDS Day is “Communities make the difference.” The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that communities of people living with HIV and community health workers play a key role in the fight against HIV/AIDS, which is on WHO’s list of the 10 threats to global health.
Spread through certain body fluids, HIV is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system, specifically the CD4 cells, often called T cells. The virus was identified in 1984, and since then more than 32 million people have died from it, which makes it one of the most destructive pandemics ever recorded.
If HIV is left untreated, the most serious phase of infection leads to AIDS, along with related diseases and cancers. However, people can live a very successful and healthy life if they are taking antiretroviral therapy, or ART, drugs. This therapy option reduces the amount of virus in the body and lowers the person’s chances of transmitting the virus.
- WiRED’s HIV/AIDS Series
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- WHO: World AIDS Day and AIDS Facts & Figures
WiRED International offers a 15-module health education series on HIV/AIDS. The training units cover:
- Living with HIV
- Related infections and cancers
- Treatment options
- Caring at home for a loved one with AIDS
- HIV information for children and adolescents
- Prevention of transmission between mother
- Proper nutrition for people who are HIV positive
WHO recommends increased community-based delivery of HIV prevention, testing, treatment and care. The community-based approach is exactly what WiRED supports to combat not only HIV/AIDS but other diseases and health conditions. To this end, WiRED will launch its Community Health Worker Program in spring 2020 (see sidebar).
World AIDS Day encourages everyone to show solidarity with those who are living with HIV and to promote awareness worldwide. To get educated about HIV/AIDS, we suggest taking a look at WiRED’s HIV/AIDS Series.
WiRED’s Community Health Worker Training Program
Physician density varies widely among countries, with around 500 doctors per 100,000 people at the high end and 3 per 100,000 at the low end. The lowest physician counts are usually found in the poorest regions of Africa, parts of the Middle East, South Asia and segments of Latin America. With doctors and nurses absent or scarce, people are left alone to heal the sick, deliver children and address chronic illnesses, all with skills uninformed by effective medical practices.
Community Health Worker (CHW) services are wide and varied and differ from place to place. A lingering problem is how to train CHWs with a standard curriculum while adapting to local differences in health conditions, cultural norms, government requirements and resource availability.
We are now developing the curriculum, and we will soon test a comprehensive CHW training program for low-resource communities. It will provide an adaptable CHW training program that offers a core curriculum augmented by tools to meet local needs. Further, it will provide a continuing health education program, enabling CHWs to stay abreast of current trends and to remain informed if outbreaks should occur.