Accompagnateurs are trained to explain what HIV is, the importance of HIV testing, how HIV is transmitted, and how to avoid getting HIV and other STIs, including using condoms. They are trained to help pregnant women with HIV learn to prevent passing HIV to their babies (PMTCT). People with HIV/AIDs are more likely to become infected with tuberculosis (TB), so Accompagnateurs are trained to explain to people what TB is, how TB is transmitted, how to avoid getting TB, and the importance of TB testing.
Accompgnateurs are trained to provide Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) and support for people taking ARVs or tuberculosis medications in order to ensure adherence. This includes helping people learn to recognize the urgent and non-urgent side effects of ARVs and TB medications, and to go to the health center immediately if they experience urgent side effects.
Accompagnateurs are also trained to recognize the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and understand why women are more vulnerable than men to HIV/AIDS. Accompagnateurs learn how to identify stigma and discrimination toward people with HIV/AIDS and their families, and strategies for combatting it. Finally, they learn about the psychological and emotional issues faced by people with HIV/AIDS and how to help people find sources of support.
The training is designed for eight days.