This manual outlines a five-day training workshop in integrating services for STDs and HIV/AIDS into family planning programs. It is designed to provide health care managers and clinic staff with skills in risk assessment, integrating counseling, and counseling for sexual behavior change. All approaches take into account the client's social, cultural, and economic environment. The manual does not address diagnosis and treatment of STDs, as that is customarily considered outside the scope of work of the community-based worker. It is expected that integrated programs will establish a referral system for diagnosis and treatment of STDs.
This manual is based on the premise that information alone will not cause behavior change. It lays a theoretical foundation for understanding the complex processes related to sexual behavior change while emphasizing practical skills and approaches to facilitate change. Throughout the counseling sessions, STDs/HIV/AIDS counseling is placed within the context of a family planning program. Participants learn how to incorporate new skills and knowledge within their current family planning activities. The workshop offers numerous opportunities to learn and practice through role plays, case studies, small group work, and discussions.
The manual also seeks to make partners aware of the gender issues related to transmission of STDs/HIV/AIDS and the disproportionate biological and social vulnerability of women to these diseases. Partners must be aware of these issues if they are to provide relevant counseling to their clients.