amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Treatment Education Gathers Momentum in China


October 2005—As countries across Asia launch increasingly sophisticated programs to combat HIV/AIDS, authorities are discovering that one vital element for their success is the active involvement of people living with the virus—as educators, caretakers, advocates, and activists. In order to help train people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWAs) as they participate in rapidly expanding treatment efforts, a group of AIDS organizations including TREAT Asia staged a capacity-building workshop in China, 20–24 June.

Tree poster
To communicate the message that AIDS can be treated, workshop participants created a poster depicting a tree infested with insects (representing the body infected with HIV). The bird and the water represent medical treatment and the sun stands for good nutrition and positive living.

The workshop brought 25 Chinese PLWAs, primarily from southern Chinese provinces, to Nanning for an intensive five-day exploration of the practical tools and skills they will need to conduct patient treatment education programs in their communities. Organized by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance and AIDS Care China, the workshop featured sessions on psychological support, project management, treatment preparedness, and more.

The treatment preparedness aspect of the workshop was organized by TREAT Asia’s China program manager, Jennifer Ho. Participants in the day-long presentation were introduced to the low-literacy patient treatment education tool kit developed by TREAT Asia, and were given the opportunity to develop their own low-literacy materials based on the challenges they face in their communities. Group presentations allowed participants to think about ways in which complex treatment information can be more effectively communicated to low-literacy patients.

The treatment literacy campaign is supported in part by a grant from GlaxoSmithKline’s Positive Action.