AIHA to Launch Pilot PrEP Training Program to Upskill Clinical Associates in South Africa
New grant from Gilead Sciences, Inc. will support AIHA’s efforts to train frontline health workers to deliver this critical HIV prevention intervention
The American International Health Alliance (AIHA) is excited to announce it will soon launch a new pilot project in South Africa to empower Clinical Associates with targeted training on pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) thanks to a grant from Gilead Sciences, Inc.*
AIHA will employ a blended training model utilizing a combination of face-to-face and online learning modalities to upskill Clinical Associates – a cadre of medical professionals akin to Physician Assistants that was introduced by South Africa’s National Department of Health in 2008 to help overcome the country’s severe shortage of trained health workers.
PrEP is a prevention intervention for individuals at very high risk of contracting HIV that includes daily doses of medications that can stop HIV from taking hold and spreading throughout the body if used consistently and as prescribed. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), daily PrEP reduces the risk of sexual transmission of HIV by more than 90 percent – a success rate that increases further when combined with the use of condoms and other prevention methods. Among people who inject drugs, PrEP reduces the risk by more than 70 percent.
South Africa was the first country after the United States to approve PrEP as part of an overall combination HIV prevention strategy, but it has only been introduced in a limited number of sites, including pilot sites that provide services for key populations, such as female sex workers (FSWs) and men who have sex with men (MSM).
This project will build on AIHA’s 13 years of experience implementing HIV interventions in South Africa, including eight years of broad-based experience supporting the training, deployment, and ongoing professional development of Clinical Associates.
With a strong focus on developing a locally-driven and sustainable approach to the roll-out of PrEP – including increasing public awareness of the availability and benefits of PrEP – AIHA will empower Clinical Associates to train additional health workers on how to more effectively implement PrEP across many facility and community-based settings throughout South Africa.
*This project is supported by grant funding from Gilead Sciences, Inc. Gilead Sciences, Inc. has had no input into the development or content of these materials.