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A Needs Assessment of Clients With HIV in a Home-Based Care Program in Guyana


Michael P. Anastario, Cicatelli Associates Inc., 505 Eighth Avenue, Suite 1600, New York, NY 10003. E-mail:


ABSTRACT Objective: To assess the needs of clients in a home-based care (HBC) program aimed at improving the quality of lives of people living with HIV in Region 4 of Guyana (Demerara-Mahaica region) following their involvement with the HBC program, volunteers, and nurse providers.

Design and Sample: A cross-sectional analysis of a needs assessment conducted through a verbally administered questionnaire. We collected a cross-sectional sample of 84 HBC clients living with HIV from Region 4 in Guyana.

Measures: Respondents were administered a questionnaire that asked questions regarding the demographics; services received; quality of service delivery; and mental health and substance abuse.

Results: The services most commonly received by respondents included nutritional assessment and counseling, HIV prevention education, emotional support, hygiene education, support for antiretroviral adherence, and support for HIV disclosure. Respondents reported further need of referrals to income-generation opportunities, food and nutritional supplement support, and support for children. Forty-two percent of the respondents screened positive for probable depression, and 37% of respondents screened positive for being at risk for a drinking problem.

Conclusions: While a substantial portion of needs were addressed by the HBC program, outstanding needs included linking people living with HIV to income-generation opportunities, food support, mental health, and services for children. We suggest that mental health and substance use services be factored into HIV programming and that referral systems be strengthened to ensure access to support services for people living with HIV.