Highly-Aktice Anti-Retroviral Therapy
Blessed Gérard's Hospice runs a programme to provide Highly Active Anti Retroviral Therapy (HAART) for poor AIDS patients free of charge.
Criteria of eligibility for our programme:
- You must be resident within the Mandeni municipality.
- You must be HIV-positive (We can test you!).
- You must have disclosed your status or be prepared to do so.
- You must be prepared to take the prescribed medication on every day of your life
Blessed Gérard's Hospice HAART Programme comprises
1. Voluntary Counselling and HIV-Testing (VCT)
We offer free and confidential HIV Tests to the general public (including our own patients, staff and volunteers)
2. HAART Readiness Courses
Before starting a patient on the medication we ensure that the patient gets sufficient information to give his informed consent and to understand the vital importance of the antiretroviral treatment for him/her.
The three modules of the HAART Readiness Course are:
1. Stigma, Disclosure and Positive Living
2. Basics of HIV and AIDS
3. HIV and Antiretroviral treatment
3. Antiretroviral Treatment
We provide free Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Treatment as comprehensive medical care including regular medical examinations, blood monitoring, ongoing prevention or treatment of opportunistic infections, medical and psychosocial counselling and dispensing of the drugs.
4. Adherence Monitoring
Our Therapeutic Counsellors make monthly home visits of our patients on ARV-treatment to ensure that they adhere to the treatment and so to prevent treatment failure.
This enables us to discover adverse drug reactions early and to prevent problems.
5. Support Groups and Peer-Counselling
We have several Support Groups where our HAART Patients meet voluntarily to encourage and support one another and prevent isolation.
Some of the members were prepared to become peer counsellors for the adherence monitoring and we are about to give them the necessary training.
6. Motivation and Income Generation
Our Therapeutic Counsellors motivate and encourage our HAART patients to engage in income generating activities instead of expecting that their families or society would have to provide for them because they are sick.
- We inform the public about the true facts of AIDS.
- We have trained volunteer workers, who visit the communities to make them aware of the dangers and effective measures of prevention.
- The Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard runs "Blessed Gérard's Care-Centre and Hospice" which caters for AIDS-victims.