Q And A Forum: When Lack Of Transport Does Not Explain Why Clients Miss Picking Up Their ARV Refills

When your clients miss picking up their scheduled ARVs on planned pick-up days, do not only think of lack of transport or bad weather as the cause. 

Key Populations (KP) can be empowered to engage in HIV Prevention if their needs are understood. Understanding needs leads to differential diagnosis. Diagnosis leads to linking beneficiaries to service support which in turn addresses those needs. This leads to enjoyment of quality life.

But why is it still difficult to serve Key Populations? 

One answer lies in understanding the barriers or what leads to vulnerability and susceptibility. 

Barriers are psycho-social, physical or geographical. 

Psycho-social issues fuel avoidance tactics including asking proxies to pick it up for them. When this is done, it is known as avoidant coping.

According to a study published in the Journal of International AIDS Society (JIAS) by Valerie and others (2018), Internalised stigma is enhanced by avoidant coping (denying and distracting oneself from stressors). 

In the study, statements relating to feelings of shame, worthlessness, guilt and dirtiness led to factors such as self-distraction, self flagellation, refuge in churches, denial, substance use, disengagement, venting and self-blame.

So, a counsellor or provider try to ask about your clients' coping skills against stressors. 

Source: Avert


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