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First National HIV/STI Conference set for Dec 4

Arthur Chung Conference Centre (Photo: DPI)

The first annual HIV/STI Conference is set to educate healthcare workers on best practices and new initiatives in care and treatment of HIV and other STIs.

With the National AIDS Programme Secretariat (NAPS) approaching its 30th Anniversary, it is set to the host the first ever CME Conference for HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) on December 4 at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre from 8:30hrs to 12:30hrs.

This Conference aims to showcase the evolution of HIV treatment in Guyana, and help healthcare practitioners understand new care and treatment strategies for HIV and other STIs.

Tariq Jagnarine, Programme Manager- NAPS (Photo: MOH)

Dr. Tariq Jagnarine, Programme Coordinator at NAPS, says Guyana has always been at the forefront regionally in widespread diagnosis of HIV-positive individuals, and this conference will showcase the progress Guyana has made and where we go from here.

“Guyana has always been sort of a leader and the country that sets that trend starting many of these initiatives. We are one of the first countries to start PrEP, self-testing, our Hepatitis Clinic, coming up with this approach of having community testing done, many outreaches … so if you look at the Caribbean trend we’re actually, in terms of our first UNAID target, we’re leading there.”

The Conference will include booths from various health agencies and institutions as well as expert speakers locally and internationally.

Some international experts include; Dr. Shanti Singh – Anthony, Knowledge Management Coordinator at PANCAP, Dr. Leandro Sereno, Technical Focal Point for HIV/STI at PAHO/WHO and Dr. Hector Bolivar, an Infectious Disease Specialist from Miami.

Through a number of presentations, Dr. Jagnarine says attendees will be updated on new treatments in the field and ways to improve on the work currently being done.

“A conference that is going to target all healthcare workers, including; doctors, medex, pharmacists, even nurses too given that there is a nursing council that would have been approved by parliament. And this conference is going to offer continued education credits (CME credits) to them. They’re going to be updated in terms of new best practices around HIV and STIs”

Dr. Jagnarine says the event will also be attended by Minister of Health Dr. Frank Anthony, who will officially launch a number of new policies, guidelines, protocols and algorithms relating to the HIV/STI care and treatment.

“For this 30th Anniversary too we are planning to have a book; ‘The HIV Guyana Story’ that tells about the past four decades. What has HIV been like in Guyana, what was done and also what are some of the challenges.”


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