Communities Lead the HIV Response Toward Better Health Outcomes

November 29th, 2023 | viewpoint


The linkage facilitator (left) helps the health facility doctor identify patients who should be referred for viral load testing. Photo: ComuSanas.

This World AIDS Day, we celebrate the communities leading the HIV response and commit to continued partnership with community-based organizations working to improve the quality of life for people affected by HIV.

In the U.S., we work at the national, state, and local levels to support the development, implementation, evaluation, and promotion of person-centered HIV care that acknowledges interconnected health and social contexts. Involving people with lived experience and other community members and leaders is essential to designing effective approaches to HIV prevention, care, and treatment at all levels.

We are committed to engaging community leadership in our work, such as through advisory boards for the projects we implement and having people bring their lived experience to the work as staff members. Additionally, our training and technical assistance aim to support community leadership in HIV planning and program implementation. Our work has always been guided by the understanding that communities do lead,” said Gretchen Weiss, co-director of the Center for HIV & Infectious Diseases.

We also partner with organizations around the world to develop tools that provide information they can use to make decisions about how to best provide inclusive and equitable HIV services. For example, through the USAID CHEKUP II project in Zambia, JSI piloted a technical capacity assessment tool that organizations use to identify effective strategies and craft tailored action plans to provide high-quality services.

Organizations appreciate that it’s not just an assessment; it’s a hands-on support tool,” said Pamela Donggo, senior technical advisor, HIV & Infectious Diseases.

Read more here about our extensive expertise in strengthening HIV and infectious disease programs and supporting community-led responses in the United States and worldwide.

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