Self-care at AIDS2020

Self-care at AIDS2020

'We need to start making self-care famous, to not only benefit the individual but the entire community.' Says Khanyiswa Kwatsha, South African youth influencer, oral PrEP user and panelist at the HIV, Self-care and COVID-19 satellite symposium at AIDS2020.

“Involve end users in self-care tool development”

Khanyiswa’s words were echoed by Aidsfonds’ national e-health coordinator Filippo Zimbile. He stated that digital health, new delivery and distribution models opens avenues never seen before for accessing SRHR and HIV services by key populations. Groups that have avoided tradition health services for fear of stigma and discrimination.

Panelists and participants explored how different self-care interventions have become a critical answer in the health system response to COVID-19, and the potential to transform the HIV response. “Covid-19 seems to boost self-care. The Stepped Care Model helps to connect self-care with regular care. It remains important to actively involve the end users in the development of self-care tools”, says Filippo. “A lively session with panel members from different corners of the world. It raised interesting questions about self-care among participants.”

Panelists were: Davina Canagasabey, PATH; Filippo Zimbile, Aidsfonds; Anderson Langdon, Barbados Family Planning Association; and Khanyiswa Kwatsha, Wits RHI. Moderation was done by Andrea Gunawan, Sexual Health Activist and Host of Real Talks with Andrea.

What is self-care about?

Self-care is how individuals protect their own health, prevent disease, and treat illness, both with and without the support of a healthcare provider.

Interventions such as condoms, HIV self-testing, oral PrEP, self-sampling for STIs, and digital solutions have led to a greater configuration of self-led HIV prevention, treatment and care possibilities than ever before. COVID-19 has accelerated and emphasized the need for self-care to meet the needs of people who live with or are at risk of HIV to alleviate an already overburdened healthcare system. uses cookies to offer the best website experience possible and to anonymously analyze website behaviour. More information.