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This toolkit provides a comprehensive set of tools to support integration of the CHARISMA empowerment counseling intervention into PrEP programs. The intervention is comprised of four steps administered by counselors as part of PrEP service delivery: (1) a relationship assessment, (2) tailored empowerment counseling, (3) information materials for male partners, and (4) referrals to community-based services.

A randomized controlled trial (RCT) conducted in Johannesburg, South Africa, found that CHARISMA was highly acceptable and increased women’s disclosure of PrEP use to male partners by 10%; however, no statistically significant impact on oral PrEP use or experience of IPV was detected. Further analysis of the RCT data and evaluation of CHARISMA are needed to better understand its impact and determine who might benefit most from the intervention.

Though the RCT did not demonstrate a measurable impact on adherence to PrEP or experience of IPV, the CHARISMA intervention tools are being shared because few existing resources address the critical issues of IPV and relationship dynamics as barriers to effective PrEP use. The hope is that the content and approach can be further adapted by toolkit users and evaluated for impact.

Download the CHARISMA Toolkit Overview

CHARISMA Toolkit Guide to Implementation and Adaptation

A guide to implementing the CHARISMA intervention, with an overview of tools and resources in the Toolkit, lessons learned from the CHARISMA RCT and guidance on how to adapt CHARISMA for different populations and settings.

Counselor Training Curriculum

Counselor Training Curriculum
A training facilitator’s guide with materials for a 2.5 – 4-day training to equip counselors with the skills needed to implement CHARISMA, including understanding relationship dynamics, IPV and PrEP and how to provide client-centered counseling that promotes women’s agency.

Relationship Assessment (HEART)

A tablet- or paper-based questionnaire that assesses a woman’s relationships with her male partner(s), including identifying women experiencing or at risk of IPV, and recommends which counseling module to use.



REDCap materials

Counseling Materials

CHARISMA Counseling Manual
The CHARISMA Counseling Manual is a resource to guide counselors through the key steps of the CHARISMA intervention, including the HEART relationship assessment, counseling modules, male partner engagement materials, and referrals to other services. It is part of the larger CHARISMA toolkit designed for counselors who are supporting women using or who would like to use ARV-based HIV prevention methods.

CHARISMA Counseling Job Aid
The CHARISMA Counseling Job Aid is part of the larger CHARISMA toolkit designed for counselors who are supporting women using or who would like to use ARV-based HIV prevention methods. The Job Aid includes key steps and messages for lay counselors to cover in each CHARISMA counseling session, including the HEART relationship assessment, all four counseling modules, male partner packets, and referrals.


The CHARISMA video series demonstrates key concepts about partner communication skills and discussing PrEP with male partners. These videos can be used as part of PrEP counseling or to raise awareness about relationship dynamics and PrEP use.

Educational Materials for Male Partners

Templates that can be adapted to local contexts and examples of other resources for women to share with their male partners about HIV prevention, oral PrEP, and relationships/

Referral Materials

Templates that can be adapted to facilitate referrals to other services (e.g., psychosocial support, social services), especially for those who are experiencing IPV.

CHARISMA Mobile: Developing a digital empowerment counseling resource to help women use PrEP safely

CHARISMA is an empowerment-based, counselor administered intervention designed to help women use PrEP in the face of relationship challenges. CHARISMA was adapted into a mobile-friendly, self-administered website, CHARISMA Mobile. CHARISMA Mobile is funded by Digital Square, a PATH-led initiative funded and designed by USAID, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and a consortium of other investors.

This brief outlines why and how you can use the CHARISMA Mobile content, and an overview of the development of CHARISMA Mobile.

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