About WASH and HIV Integration Resources
This collection of resources was compiled by the USAID-funded WASHplus project for anyone seeking guidance on integrating water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) into HIV/AIDS programs and guidelines. Whether you are a program manager seeking information on expanding or creating an integrated program, a home-based care organization seeking to integrate WASH into household and community level interventions, a U.S. Government representative seeking a strategy to support integration or anyone else seeking to learn more about this critical intersection, we hope you will find something here to help you with your work.
Please note that we welcome the addition of new resources for this collection at any time. If you know of something else that should be included, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why Integrate WASH and HIV?
Despite the established benefits of good WASH practices, meeting the WASH needs of people living with HIV and AIDS (PLHIV) can be an enormous challenge. The negative impact of limited or no access to basic sanitation facilities and a lack of water for hygiene and safe drinking water are magnified for PLHIV. The immuno-compromised status of PLHIV renders them more susceptible to opportunistic infections, including those related to poor WASH—diarrhea and skin diseases. A good supply of clean drinking water is important to maximize the effectiveness of ART medicines since a side effect of many ART drugs is diarrhea. Thus, safe drinking water becomes that much more important as ART becomes more pervasive in the developing world. And ensuring that a clean safe latrine, modified if needed for patients who are weak, is important to maintaining a safe and hygienic environment for PLHIV and their families.
The Evidence Base
A small but growing body of literature has identified a series of linkages between water, sanitation and hygiene and HIV/AIDS. Opportunistic infections negatively impact PLHIV quality of life and can speed the progression to AIDS, and infection frequency is tied to water and sanitation services available to households and the hygiene practices of household members (Hillbrunner 2007). This as well as individual studies addressing the impact of water quantity and quality, sanitation, feces management, hand washing and other aspects of WASH can be found in the collection on this website.
Programming Experience and Guidance
Ensuring proper WASH practices benefits those infected with HIV and AIDS by keeping them stronger, well nourished, and able to contribute to the household. In addition, such good practices will also prevent the caregivers and other household members from contracting waterborne diarrheal diseases, which, in turn, helps to keep households economically viable and generally resilient for longer periods of time. This collection includes guidance as well as programming experience from various levels and settings on how to integrate WASH into HIV policies and programs to help PLHIV and their families live healthier and more productive lives.