Short Report – Special Collection: African Health Systems

HIV stigma in Kenya: A family medicine led community orientated primary care approach

Peter M. Kioko, Maureen W. Kamau, Norah A. Obungu, Emma A. Khabure, Anne M. Simmelink, Katana Geoffrey, Fleur O. de Meijer
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 13, No 1 | a3054 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v13i1.3054 | © 2021 Peter Mwanza Kioko, Maureen Wanjiru Kamau, Norah Atieno Obungu, Emma Andrea Khabure, Anne Marieke Simmelink, Fleur Ophelie de Meijer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 30 May 2021 | Published: 28 October 2021

About the author(s)

Peter M. Kioko, Department of Family Medicine, Medical College of East Africa, Aga Khan University, Nairobi, Kenya
Maureen W. Kamau, Department of Family Medicine, Medical College of East Africa, Aga Khan University, Nairobi, Kenya
Norah A. Obungu, Department of Family Medicine, Medical College of East Africa, Aga Khan University, Nairobi, Kenya
Emma A. Khabure, Department of Family Medicine, Medical College of East Africa, Aga Khan University, Nairobi, Kenya
Anne M. Simmelink, Department of Family Medicine, Medical College of East Africa, Aga Khan University, Nairobi, Kenya
Katana Geoffrey, Department of Health, Kilifi County, Kenya
Fleur O. de Meijer, Department of Family Medicine, Medical College of East Africa, Aga Khan University, Nairobi, Kenya


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Abstract

The Kenyan Ministry of Health envisages that family physicians should play an important role in the implementation of community orientated primary care (COPC) in collaboration with the community health team. The Kenyan Community Health Strategy forms a solid basis for the implementation of the COPC model. Residents and faculty of the Family Medicine department at the Aga Khan University Hospital Nairobi collaborated with the Kaloleni sub-county of Kilifi County government near Mombasa in a five-step COPC process to better understand and act against the high prevalence of HIV stigma in the coastal region. Firstly, a deeper understanding of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) stigma was acquired through community visits and work in the comprehensive care clinic. Secondly, a collaborative implementation team was formed to design a targeted and feasible intervention. In a participatory approach, a two-step intervention was employed, firstly sensitising healthcare workers and community health volunteers (CHVs) on the high prevalence of HIV stigma in their community and educating them on HIV-related issues. Secondly, the information was disseminated to the community through home visits by CHVs, health talks and the set-up of an HIV support group at the facility. This short report illustrates the important contribution of family physicians to implementation of COPC and capacity building of the primary healthcare team.

Keywords

community oriented primary care (COPC); HIV/AIDS; family medicine; intervention; improvement; sensitisation; stigma

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