Counselling Improvement Programme 
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Project Focus
HIV Counselling & Testing, and ARV adherence counselling

Project Location
All sites RHRU is supporting

Duration of Project
Ongoing since 2004

Project Partners
City of Johannesburg, Gauteng Department of Health, Community AIDS Response (CARE)

Project Donors

Busi Dlamini, Senior Counselor

Project Aim/ Objective
The objective of the Counseling Improvement Programme is to strengthen counseling services in the public sector in Johannesburg, to improve the quality and reach of counseling, in order to identify and prevent HIV infection.

Project Activities
The Counseling Improvement Team directly provide, counseling and testing (C & T) services in government clinics and hospitals. In addition, the project provides technical support to the City of Johannesburg and the Department of Health to improve services offered at their facilities. This includes HIV testing, and ARV adherence counseling.

RHRU sees C & T as key in the early identification and staging, with appropriate referral, of HIV infected clients. RHRU continues to provide training and mentoring in counseling and testing to Department of Health (DoH) staff, and ensure that counseling and testing is integrated into TB, STI and contraceptive services at all levels.

The team also looks for opportunities to expand services tailored to target groups such as men, couples (both discordant and concordant), children, youth and families, through the development of appropriate counseling and testing techniques. Lessons learned from pilot projects are then disseminated.

In addition, RHRU works in ARV sites to ensure the provision and development of treatment adherence counseling, including the development of specialised adherence counseling methods for specialised groups such as peri-natal women. RHRU also works with the NGO CARE, to develop a comprehensive model of psycho-social support for those infected and affected by HIV.

Anticipated/Actual Results

  • In partnership with the CoJ and DoH, over 10,000 counselling and testing sessions conducted per year.
  • Over 400 health workers trained in counseling and testing per year.
  • Weekly debriefing for DoH and RHRU health workers.
  • Ongoing supervision and professional development of CoJ, DoH and NGO counsellors
  • The development of guidelines and training materials in counseling and testing.
  • In partnership with CARE, the development and implementation of a “Wellness Centre” providing resources and support for those affected by HIV
  • Research focusing on the improvement of services

Additional Outputs
  • Counsellors Guides to VCT, ARV’s and Adherence Counselling
  • Counselling Training (for more info, see the HIV Training Project)

Future Plans
  • The setting up of a youth friendly Counseling and Testing service at Esselen Street Clinic (September 2006)
  • Piloting of men and HIV health services (early 2007)
  • The provision of opportunities for service learning students within the project.


 Projects in the HIV Management Cluster:

  Counselling Improvement Programme
  Inner City Clinical Support Team
  Maternal Health & HIV Project (MHHIV)
  HIV Management Cluster Research Projects
  HIV Training
  Essellen Street Clinic Best Practice Project
  Mobile Clinic Support Team (MCST)
  Primary Health Care Project
  Women At Risk
  Young SA women's increased risk of HIV