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Innovative intervention program improves life for rural women in India living with HIV/AIDS
Date:6/21/2013

nation. The intervention group also received monthly supplies of high-protein foods, such as black gram and pigeon pea.

In addition, the women in the AL group participated in six education sessions covering a variety of topics, including learning about HIV and AIDS, adhering to antiretroviral therapy, overcoming barriers and dealing with the illness. The courses also focused on improving coping, reducing the stigma of the disease, caring for family members and children, the basics of good nutrition and benefits of participating in a life-skills class.

Women in the control group also attended the education sessions, but they did not receive visits and supportive services from the ASHA. They received only standard protein supplementation, not the high-protein supplements of the intervention group.

Among the women in the AL group, the researchers found significant increases in therapy adherence and CD4+ T-cell levels, as well as significant reductions in internalized stigma, avoidance coping and depressive symptoms, compared with the control group. The women in the AL group also showed significant increases in body mass index, muscle mass and fat mass, compared with the other women.

The pilot study holds promise for rural women and other populations afflicted by HIV/AIDS, Nyamathi said.

"The findings of our study lay the groundwork for a national model related to the benefits of training and working with ASHA in rural India in an effort to improve antiretroviral therapy adherence and reduce stigma and depression, as well as improve nutritional status," she said.

Findings from the study are currently available on online in two journals: the Western Journal of Nursing Research, and AIDS Education and Prevention. The study was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, part of the National Institutes of Health.


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Contact: Laura Perry
lperry@sonnet.ucla.edu
310-794-4022
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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