I ACT strives to reduce the “loss to follow-up” from the time of HIV diagnosis to successful commencement of ART. 

 

 

ABOUT I ACT
 

Integrated Access to Care and Treatment, I ACT, was founded in 2009 with the mission to empower people living with HIV (PLHIV) and others who are affected by HIV to make positive lifestyle changes.

 

 

 

Today I ACT serves over 200,000 people across all provinces of South Africa through:

  • Group meetings, educational sessions and other opportunities for peer-based learning
  • Referrals to partner organisations, health facilities and other supportive services
  • Comprehensive training, education and support for I ACT facilitators

 

100% of facilitators report that the groups helped people who were newly diagnosed to better manage HIV
  

Our core curriculum includes important information about:

  • HIV/AIDS, opportunistic infections and tuberculosis
  • Treatment literacy and adherence
  • Acceptance of status
  • Disclosure
  • Nutrition and healthy living principles
  • Prevention with positives

 

I ACT is led by a National Programme Director and coordinated by the South African National Department of Health and South Africa Partners. Provincial Departments of Health and partner organisations guide I ACTʼs implementation and growth.

 

Read more about I ACT in the Programme Overview >

 

 

OUR HISTORY
 

 

 
About_Timeline

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention South Africa, the Eastern Cape Department of Health, South Africa Partners, the Masihlanganeni Network of People Living with HIV and AIDS (MANEPHA), Eastern Cape Regional Training Centre and Justice Resource Institute Health, together with Africare, design Healthy Living Support Groups (HLSGs) to address the psycho-social needs of newly diagnosed people living with HIV.
15 MANEPHA members facilitate HLSGs in the Eastern Cape as part of a year-long pilot project: 100% of facilitators report that the groups helped people who were newly diagnosed to better manage HIV.
Partners finalise and name the programme, “Siyakhathala – Basic Care Package,” (BCP). BCP is successfully implemented in the Eastern Cape, coordinated by South Africa Partners and the Eastern Cape Department of Health. Read more about Basic Care Package in the Process Document >
The BCP curriculum is evaluated, revised and officially re-launched as Integrated Access to Care and Treatment, I ACT, a national effort serving all provinces of South Africa, coordinated by South Africa Partners and the National Department of Health.
South Africa Partners, in partnership with the Department of Correctional Services, adapts the I ACT curriculum to create Strengthening Prevention Services, STEPS, an HIV prevention strategy that serves offenders and staff members in correctional facilities.
Partner organisations customise the I ACT curriculum to serve children and adolescents.
STEPS joins a national effort to support capacity development within the National Department of Correctional Services.

 

MISSION
 

We empower people living with HIV and others affected by HIV to make positive lifestyle changes.

 

 

We strive to:

  • Increase early identification, referral and retention of newly diagnosed PLHIV into care and support services
  • Empower newly diagnosed PLHIV to advocate for and manage their health
  • Strengthen the active engagement of PLHIV, families, health care providers and communities in continuum of care and support

 

Our vision is to:

  • Retain PLHIV in healthcare systems
  • Reduce loss to follow-up
  • Mitigate stigma related to HIV, sexually transmitted infections, opportunistic infections and tuberculosis
  • Support treatment adherence
  • Assist with referrals and strengthen healthcare systems
  • Reduce AIDS morbidity and mortality
  • Prevent new infections of HIV, sexually transmitted infections and tuberculosis

 

We are committed to:

  • Intentional involvement of PLHIV at all programme and service levels
  • Enhancement of PLHIV knowledge and skills
  • Strengthened referral systems and complementary care services
  • Empowerment of PLHIV to be their own health advocates
  • Encouragement of communities to take responsibility for health care improvement
  • Connection among PLHIV and care and support structures

 

 

STAFF
 

 

 

Anthony Diesel, RN, MBA

I ACT National Programme Director

 

Tabisa Bata, MPH

Program Manager, Albertina Sisulu Executive Leadership Programme in Health

 

Thembi Ngubane-Zungu, RN, MPH

Eastern Cape Policy & Advocacy Director/STEPS Program Manager

 

If you are interested in implementing I ACT in your community, please review our Frequently Asked Questions and then email info@iactsupport.org or contact your local lead partner organisation

 

 

FACILITATORS

 


Facilitators are passionate and dedicated peer leaders.

 

 

 

Facilitators are based in local communities and managed by lead partner organisations, and/or the Provincial Departments of Health. Most facilitators hold other jobs and engage as facilitators to better offer patient or client services within their health facilities, community-based or faith-based organisations.


Many facilitators are PLHIV and former participants in I ACT group meetings, in support of the Greater Involvement of People Living with HIV and AIDS (GIPA) Principle.

 

Please email info@iactsupport.org for more information about becoming an I ACT facilitator.

 

Facilitators use the core curriculum to lead:

  • Public educational sessions
  • Open and closed group meetings
  • Additional peer-learning activities

 

I ACT facilitators typically start up to 10 new groups and work with over 100 new participants each year. Each group completes 6 sessions of the I ACT curriculum.

 

Download the I ACT Implementation Guide to learn more about facilitator selection and job responsibilities >

 

Download the STEPS Implementation Guide to learn more about facilitator selection and expectations >

 

All facilitators must complete extensive training courses to learn expert knowledge of the I ACT and/or STEPS curriculum and effective management of group dynamics. Facilitators also receive formal mentoring to better achieve both personal and professional growth.

 

In addition, facilitators are encouraged to participate in 10-part Supervision and Support programme, named Mirror Sessions, to prevent burnout and to address individual learning needs that arise during the facilitation process.

 

Please Login before downloading the complete I ACT, Adolescent I ACT or STEPS facilitator training curricula, mentorship guideline and Mirror Sessions workbook.

 

 

FAQs
 

 

 

 

What is I ACT

 

I ACT is Integrated Access to Care and Treatment, a programme that supports people living with and affected by HIV through:

 

 

What is the I ACT curriculum?

 

Our core curriculum includes:

  • HIV/AIDS, opportunistic infections and tuberculosis
  • Treatment literacy and adherence
  • Acceptance of status
  • Disclosure
  • Nutrition and healthy living principles
  • Prevention with positives

 

The curriculum has also been adapted to serve children, adolescents and offenders and staff members in correctional facilities.

 

 

Why should I participate in I ACT?

 

I ACT helps people to learn, share and live positively.

 

Skilled facilitators ensure that I ACT participants gain:

  • A sense of belonging and a safe and comforting space to share feelings
  • Access to accurate information
  • A community of support and hope.

 

Our core curriculum has also been customised to serve children, adolescents and staff members and offenders in correctional centers.

 

 

How do I participate in I ACT?

 

Participants often first connect with I ACT by attending a public educational session. Educational sessions are on specific topics and are held in locations where people might gather, including the waiting rooms of local health clinics.

 

Participants are encouraged to join an I ACT group:

  • Closed group participants commit to attending all 6 meetings and to fostering a supportive cohort
  • Open group participants may attend all 6 meetings or attend the sessions they are most interested in

 

Please contact the nearest Lead Partner organisation or email info@iactsupport.org
for more information about participating in I ACT.

 

 

How do I become an I ACT facilitator?

 

I ACT facilitators are based in local communities and managed by lead partner organisations and/or provincial and district Departments of Health. All facilitators are required to complete extensive training courses to learn expert knowledge of the I ACT curriculum and effective management of group dynamics. All facilitators also receive on-going support and mentoring.

 

Download the I ACT Implementation Guide to learn more about facilitator selection and job responsibilities >

 

Please email info@iactsupport.org for more information about becoming an I ACT facilitator.

 

 

Where is I ACT offered?

 

I ACT is a national programme serving all provinces of South Africa. All I ACT programmes are coordinated by lead partner organisations in conjunction with the local department of health, health facilities and community organisations.

 

For more information about your nearest I ACT programme, please email info@iactsupport.org.

 

 

What does it cost to participate in I ACT?

 

I ACT programmes are FREE and offered to participants in the groups at no cost. The training of facilitators is provided by the lead partner organisation and/or the Department of Health regional training centre. Facilitators may incur training costs if the lead partner organisation’s resources are limited.

 

 

How do I implement I ACT in my community and what will it cost?

 

All I ACT programmes are customised by lead partner organisations to suit the needs of the local community. The I ACT, I ACT Adolescent and STEPS curricula and training manuals are available to interested organisations for FREE. Other implementing costs will vary depending on the services and organisational support offered.

 

Download the I ACT Implementation Guide to learn more about implementing I ACT programmes in your community. >

 

 

Where do I get the I ACT curriculum?

 

The I ACT, I ACT Adolescent and STEPS curricula and facilitator training manuals are available to interested organisations and individuals for FREE. Login to access these and other materials available on this website.

 

 

We want to adapt the I ACT curriculum and other materials for our organisation’s use. Who do we contact for permission?

 

Please read our Terms of Use for more information about permitted and not-permitted uses of our curriculum, training manuals and all other materials available on this website.

 

Please email info@iactsupport.org for more information.