Approach : Community and Stakeholder engagement (WP6)
The need for community and stakeholder engagement cannot be overemphasized in this project. Introduction of a new method of testing viral load in a routine clinical care setting will be received with mixed emotions, therefore this work package is critical in the success of the project. WP6 will support the research platform to identify, recruit, and engage communities and stakeholders in the training and research related to studying the effectiveness, feasibility and acceptability, and psycho-social implications of PoC VL monitoring. It will also develop a clear and feasible plan for creating pathways to achieving policy change and uptake of PoC for VL monitoring in the intervention sites, and in the wider East African context. To achieve these objectives, the work will be done through different stakeholder engagement activities such as community dialogues, engagement meetings including stakeholders such as respective ministries of health, funders of HIV treatment programs—e.g., PEPFAR.
Engagements will be conducted across three strategies:
This first strategy focuses on community mapping and recruitment and will involve two steps: (1) Identifying the social, cultural, political, economic, and geographical contexts surrounding the health facilities; (2) supporting WP1 to ethically engaging, introducing, and recruiting research participants into the study.
The second focuses on Engagement and retention and will involve communities involved in research platform with the aim of ensuring retention of participants in the study. The third Findings Coordination, Organization, Dissemination, and Exploitation will coordinate the sharing of findings from the study at the health facility/community; district/county; national; and international levels.