Evaluation of the training program to train HIV treatment center staff in Pakistan

Document Type



Biological and Biomedical Sciences


Introduction In Pakistan, HIV training programs, especially for health professionals working in HIV treatment centers, are limited. Consequently, there is little data about HIV awareness among physicians and allied health workers and how it may affect their care for people living with HIV (PLWH). Recently, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (GFATM) grant Principal Recipient UNDP engaged an NGO experienced in HIV/AIDS training, on a competitive basis, to develop a training manual and conduct training of all categories of HIV treatment centers staff. The goal of this study was to assess the training program's influence on trainees' (both physicians and allied health staff) knowledge and abilities and describe its major lessons. Methodology This was a one-group pre-post test study, carried out between January 17 and February 22, 2023. The study was carried out in three phases. In the first phase, a team of experts developed an antiretroviral treatment (ART) training manual. In the second phase, 9- and three-day training workshops were conducted in six different cities of Pakistan, which were attended by physicians and allied health staff working in different HIV treatment centers across Pakistan. The workshops had plenary lectures, discussions, role plays, video cases, and case studies. In the third phase, a quiz, comprising multiple/best choice questions (MCQs/BCQs) and true and false questions, was administered before (pre) and after the workshop (post) to assess the impact of these training sessions in enhancing the level of HIV knowledge, especially related to ART. The workshop was attended by a total of 256 health workers from different cities in Pakistan. The participants had backgrounds in medical science, psychology, laboratory science, nursing, and computer science. Pre-and post-test responses were statistically analyzed to determine the impact of the training program on participant's knowledge. For this, the Shapiro-Wilk test was applied to test data normality, followed by the application of paired t-test or Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test for normally and non-normally distributed data, respectively. Finally, a chi-square test was applied to examine the significant (p<0.05) association between training workshops and improvement in the participant's level of understanding of HIV. In all statistical tests, p<0.05 was considered significant. Results The results from our study showed that before the training session, both physicians and allied staff possessed limited knowledge about HIV-related domains. After the workshops, participants from all cities demonstrated a uniform enhancement of knowledge related to different HIV-related domains, evident from the improvement in post-test scores compared to pre-test scores (p<0.0001). The chi-square test showed a significant association between training workshops and improvement in the participant's level of understanding about HIV (p-values for BCQ, MCQ, and true and false: 0.001, 0.0047, and 0.0024, respectively). Conclusions Pre- and post-test evaluation provides an objective, data-driven method for measuring the impact of educational interventions in improving healthcare workers' awareness about HIV. The results emphasize the role of continuous workshops and training programs in enhancing the knowledge and understanding of healthcare and allied health workers regarding HIV.


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