Introduction India is home to the world’s third largest HIV-positive population. One sub-population- children living with HIV (CLHIV) -requires unique ‘HIV triaging’ to ensure patients at high risk receive treatment without delay. The International Alliance for the Prevention of AIDS (IAPA), an organisation in Chennai, India, supports 43 CLHIV by offering free monthly medical visits. Between monthly visits, all patient calls are triaged by a single staff member. The UTHAVI Project, a training curriculum and web-based telephone triage database, aims to help IAPA’s CLHIV get the treatment they need between monthly visits. The UTHAVI project trains community social workers and IAPA staff in triage categorization, evaluating trainees’ knowledge and preparedness pre- and post-training.
Methods In-depth Interviews with staff and physicians were conducted to assess program needs. The triage curriculum, ‘The UTHAVI Project,’ was adapted from the WHO’s Integrated Management of Childhood Illness handbook. Using 25 CLHIV triage scenarios, pre- and post-training knowledge and preparedness were assessed in 5 IAPA staff members and 12 Bachelor’s in Social Work students. Participants used a 3-tier triage system (emergent, urgent, non-urgent) to assign a triage level for each scenario.
Results Paired t-test analysis showed significant differences (p<0.05) in overall pre- and post-test scores. The protocol categories of Fever, Diarrhoea, General Danger Signs, and Opportunistic Infections showed the most significant differences (p<0.05) while the protocol category of Cough showed no significant difference (p>0.05). 94.1% of trainees felt equally or more prepared post-training vs. pre-training.
Conclusion Future research looks to assess the protocol’s impact on control and treatment groups. Future direction of The UTHAVI Project include expanding the healthcare network to physicians of different specialties. Following the completion of the online triage database, trainings on how to use the technology will be conducted and triaging patients will be studied through the website.