The Pediatric HIV/AIDS Treatment Support Project (PATS) was established in 2007 in response to an urgent and on-going situation: the care of HIV-positive children in rural China. In parternship with the AIDS Orphan Salvation Association (AOS) of China, PATS aims to promote the health of children affected by HIV/AIDS.
The cornerstone of our philosophy and strategy is the belief in the power of community care. Building the capacity of local community health workers and local families enables quality care of HIV+ children, including access to life saving anti-retroviral treatment.
Programs: The PATS model relies on the use of trained Community Health Workers (CHWs), community members selected by AOS who have an interest in working with children with HIV/AIDS. All CHWs receive an intensive 3-day training from local HIV/AIDS doctors in basic treatment support, as well as in HIV/AIDS epidemiology and care. CHWs are then sent into the field along with a more seasoned worker, where they are given practical experience in caring for HIV-positive children and providing education to their caretakers. Once the worker is comfortable with their tasks, he or she is assigned to a particular set of children and paid a small stipend. The CHW’s frequency of household visits is determined by clinical and geographic considerations. CHWs are given refresher trainings every 6 months, receive quarterly supervision from PATS staff, and meet with supervising doctors every month to discuss each child's case. The CHW model is a simple, cost-effective way to ensure that the child adheres to their ARV treatment and receives the care and support needed both at the household and hospital levels.