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“The only thing necessary for these diseases to the triumph is for good people and governments to do nothing.”



The PLHA-friendly Achievement Checklist

Background: Population Council/Horizons and SHARAN are conducting an operations research study in three New Delhi hospitals (newsletter article on study). The study, entitled “Improving the hospital environment for HIV-positive clients in India,” is endorsed by the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) of India. The objective of the study is to assess factors that affect the quality and type of care received by the general patient population, with special emphasis on patients with HIV. An additional objective is to assess and address factors that affect staff safety with respect to infectious diseases. As part of the study, a practical Checklist has been developed that can be used by managers and others to identify institutional strengths, pinpoint problems, and set goals for improvement of services for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) and staff safety. The study will be complete in March 2003. NACO plans to distribute the Checklist, adapted for the Indian context, to all government medical facilities throughout India.

Development of the Checklist: “Gold standards” were compiled from national (Indian) and international guidelines and policies on the human rights of PLHA, HIV testing and counseling, infection control, and care and management of HIV/AIDS. These standards were reviewed and endorsed by NACO and hospitals participating in the study through a series of consultative discussions. In turn they were adapted into a Checklist format, similar to UNICEF’s “Baby Friendly Hospital” guidelines and Checklist. The version presented here, called the PLHA-friendly Achievement Checklist, is a generic version. In India, it was tailored for the local context and is referred to as the “Self-assessment Checklist for Institutions Caring for PLHA.” The Indian version, soon to be distributed by NACO, used the term “patient-friendly” in place of the term “PLHA-friendly.”



Purpose of the Checklist: The PLHA-friendly Achievement Checklist is intended as a self-assessment tool for managers to use in gauging how well their facility (hospital, clinic, or department) reaches, serves, and treats HIV-positive patients. This gives managers an opportunity to identify institutional strengths and weaknesses, consider ways to address the weaknesses, and later to assess progress toward “PLHA-friendliness.” The Checklist is designed in a simple format that can be readily adapted for each unique context. It can be used by individual managers or by groups of managers and/or staff. It can be applied to large hospitals, clinics, or specific departments. In the context of the ongoing study in India, surveys and observations were conducted and hospital-specific reports were produced to enable medical superintendents to “score” their institutions fairly precisely and objectively based on data. However, it is not necessary to have access to this level of data in order to use the Checklist. Users of the Checklist can use hospital records, survey data, observation or simply “guesstimates” to rate their own institution.



We highly encourage users of the checklist to please provide feedback. Please send your comments to Laelia Gilborn via e-mail at or via mail to the address below .

For more information about the PLHA-Friendly Achievement Checklist and the accompanying operations research project, please contact: Laelia Gilborn ( or Vaishali Sharma Mahendra ( of the Population Council, Horizons program.

To receive a hard copy of the Checklist, please contact:

Horizons-CDU Unit
Population Council
4301 Connecticut Ave. N.W., Suite 280
Washington, DC 20008
Facsimile: 202-237-8410