Thursday, January 24, 2019
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Health Care Workers Receive Training on PLHIV Counseling

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To prevent HIV transmission, Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) has equipped over 30 health care workers and peer educators in the Federal Capital Territory with counseling skills in a three day training.

IHVN Senior Technical Officer, Mrs. Comfort Ochigbo, said the training is to ensure that health care workers “will be able to put themselves in the shoes of those that have tested HIV positive to understand their mindsets so that they will provide an enabling environment for them to disclose their status.”

She expressed the hope that with the training, more people who are living with HIV (PLHIV) will be willing to encourage their sexual and social partners to go for a HIV test to know their status and stop transmission of HIV through their sexual network. “It is critical because we are seeing that HIV transmission is usually higher in clients that are newly identified HIV positive. For those that are not doing very well on their drugs, we want to identify them, know the reason why and prevent them from re-infecting others with strains of the virus,” she said.

Participants, which were drawn from hospitals in the six area councils of the Federal Capital Territory, were trained on cultural issues that hinder disclosure of their HIV status to partners, stigma and gender-based violence amongst other areas.

Mrs. Florence Anyor, a nurse from Bwari General Hospital and a trainee, said she is now equipped with skills to encourage people living with HIV inform their partners about their status. “Most of my clients don’t want to disclose their status. With much counseling, they won’t accept to disclose but with this training, I discover that they are ways I can make them encourage their partners to test and know their status. We have got all the tips that we can use,” she said.

Dr. Ogundare Olufemi from Gwarinpa General Hospital Abuja, says that he is better informed about the need for people who have discovered their HIV positive status to disclose to their partners. “I have learned about the counseling methods and the procedures for partner notification. When I get back to my facility, I will train and inform them so that they will buy into it,” he said.

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 The Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria AITRP Training     Programmes are supported and funded by the Fogarty International Center.

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