Working to Advance Health Equity in Africa

Research project

Closing the Gap: Training of Health Care Workers and People with Disabilities on the Interrelationship between Disability and HIV


Disability and HIV are interrelated in southern Africa.  People with disabilities are at an increased risk of exposure to HIV. In recent years, antiretroviral therapy (ART) has become widely accessible to people living with HIV (PLHIV) and as a result people with HIV are living longer. This comes with new experiences of co-morbidities and disabilities, as well as health care workers in southern Africa not being prepared for the new health-related needs of millions of people on ART. This project conducts a needs assessment and develops a workshop approach to train health care workers and people with disabilities on the interrelationship between disability and HIV. The workshop is provided by HEARD in cooperation with the Department of Health, the QuadPara Association KZN and the physiotherapy department of UKZN.


  • To investigate the experience of disability in PLHIV from a health care workers’ perspective
  • To identify skills training needs of health care workers
  • To develop a training approach and tools for health care workers
  • To develop a pilot study and formally evaluate the intervention.

Methodological Approach:

The project uses qualitative measures of enquiry, prompting the experience of health care workers prior to and after the intervention. This includes in-depth interviews before and after the intervention, as well as observations during the workshops.