Health providers learn more about management of HIV/AIDS

The original article can be found in: BVI News GIS

Wednesday, February 29 – Residents of the Territory can expect to receive enhanced services and treatment following a capacity building workshop on the Clinical Management of HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) for health providers.

The workshop was designed to present the results and recommendations of a Drug Utilisation Review of AntiRetroViral (ARV) Medicines prescribed in the Virgin Islands; and to provide an update on the Clinical Management of HIV/AIDS and other STIs for health professionals and others involved in their care and treatment.

It was hosted by the Office of the Chief of Drugs and Pharmaceutical Services in the Ministry of Health and Social Development, in collaboration with the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States/Pharmaceutical Procurement Services (OECS/PPS).

Lead workshop facilitator and one of the Caribbean’s STI Specialists, Dr. Tina Hylton-Kong, reviewed some of the approaches to STI care and the management of HIV. She also discussed some of the challenges encountered in the delivery of care and also outlined some prevention strategies.

During the workshop Dr. Kong pointed out that biological, behavioral and social factors play a role in transmission of STIs.”
Dr. Kong explained that biological factors include having weakened immune systems; while behavioral risk factors include having multiple sex partners; or having unprotected sex with an infected partner.

Additionally, she advised that social risk factors influencing transmission of STIs included limited life-skills and sex education; a culture of having multiple sex partners; early initiation into sexual activity; stigma; discrimination and gender inequity such as the use of power to initiate or control a sexual relationship.

Over 25 health professionals throughout the Virgin Islands attended the workshop on February 17. Other presenters were National AIDS Programme Coordinator, Mrs. Noelene Levons-Clarke and Head of Unit for the OECS/PPS, Mr. Francis Burnett.

Chief of Drugs and Pharmaceutical Services, Ms. Gracia Wheatley was pleased with the feedback from participants, who indicated that the workshop was a tremendous success.

She stated, “They learned information that would be useful in their practice so they can deliver quality health care to our patients living with HIV.”

The Ministry of Health and Social Development will continue with its capacity-building efforts in the health system, and is encouraged by the response of health care providers to the various training initiatives offered.

The Ministry of Health and Social Development provides leadership that promotes health, social wellness and a safe environment as positive resources for healthy living.

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