How treatment partners help: Social analysis of an african adherence support intervention

Kelli N. O'Laughlin, Monique A. Wyatt, Sylvia Kaaya, David R. Bangsberg, Norma C. Ware

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Treatment partnering is an adherence intervention developed in sub-Saharan Africa. This paper describes the additional social functions that treatment partners serve and shows how these functions contribute to health and survival for patients with HIV/AIDS. Ninetyeight minimally structured interviews were conducted with twenty pairs of adult HIV/AIDS patients (N = 20) and treatment partners (N = 20) treated at a public HIV-care setting in Tanzania. Four social functions were identified using inductive, category construction and interpretive methods of analysis: (1) encouraging disclosure; (2) combating stigma; (3) restoring hope; and (4) reducing social difference. These functions work to restore social connections and reverse the isolating effects of HIV/AIDS, strengthening access to essential community safety nets. Besides encouraging ARV adherence, treatment partners contribute to the social health of patients. Social health as well as HIV treatment success is essential to survival for persons living with HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1308-1315
Number of pages8
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Adherence
  • Africa
  • Hiv
  • Treatment assistant
  • Treatment partner

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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