Empowering Lay-Counsellors with Technology: Masivukeni, a Standardized Multimedia Counselling Support Tool to Deliver ART Counselling

AIDS Behav. 2018 Oct;22(10):3345-3356. doi: 10.1007/s10461-018-2145-y.


Lay-counsellors in resource-limited settings convey critical HIV- and ART-information, and face challenges including limited training and variable application of counselling. This study explored lay-counsellors and Department of Health (DoH) perspectives on the utility of a multimedia adherence counselling program. Masivukeni, an mHealth application that provides scaffolding for delivering standardized ART counselling was used in a 3-year randomized control trail at two primary health care clinics in Cape Town, South Africa. In this programmatic and descriptive narrative report, we describe the application; lay-counsellors' response to open-ended questions regarding their experience with using Masivukeni; and perspectives of the City of Cape Town and Western Cape Government DoH, obtained through ongoing engagements and feedback sessions. Counsellors reported Masivukeni empowered them to provide high quality counselling. DoH indicated strong support for a future implementation study assessing feasibility for larger scale roll-out. Masivukeni has potential as a counselling tool in resource-limited settings.

Keywords: Antiretroviral treatment adherence; HIV counselling and testing; HIV/AIDS; Lay-counsellors; Masivukeni; Sub-Saharan Africa.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Retroviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Community Health Workers / education*
  • Counseling / education*
  • Counseling / methods*
  • Counselors*
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • Humans
  • Medication Adherence / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multimedia*
  • Power, Psychological*
  • Professional Competence / standards*
  • South Africa
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Retroviral Agents