CONSULTATIVE MEETING ON ART ADHERENCE UNIT (AAU) – Islamabad
Nai Zindagi organized a consultative meeting to showcase the ART Adherence Unit (AAU) providing rehabilitative ART adherence support to HIV positive PWID.
Relevant stakeholders representing public sector, private sector, civil society organizations and international partners were invited to an exposure visit to the AAU facility. They had a detailed interaction with the HIV positive PWID under treatment at AAU which helped them understand the issues surrounding HIV & AIDS particularly among PWID and the problems faced by them in accessing Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART). ART is a lifelong treatment and intake of prescribed medicines by the patients on a daily basis is essential to maintain the immune system and minimize serious health consequences that are likely to be caused by HIV and AIDS.
The ART Adherence Unit (AAU) was established in January, 2014 with support from Mainline Foundation, it is a two month residential program with a capacity to accommodate 100 clients. It provides a range of holistic services including psycho-social, counselling, medical and health related services to people who use drugs, are HIV positive and need ART. The primary objective of AAU is to support people affected by HIV and AIDS to adhere to medication, stay healthy and live longer.
During a presentation the participants were informed that since its inception AAU has provided services to more than 700 PWID and most of them have completed a two month residential program. AAU has been instrumental in improving ART Adherence among HIV positive PWID which otherwise has remained a challenge.
The visit to AAU was followed by a consultative meeting where efficacy of this intervention was discussed in detail and the participants were requested to provide their inputs towards the way forward in scaling up ART Adherence services for a larger number of PWID who are in need of such services. The participants appreciated the performance of AAU and were satisfied with the services offered by AAU.