Wednesday, June 20, 2018
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AMAC Health Workers Receive Training

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Over 80 health care providers in the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) have received training on skills required to encourage people living with HIV to disclose their status to their partners and embolden these partners to take a HIV test.

In the three-day training organized by Institute of Human Virology, Nigeria (IHVN) in collaboration with AMAC, participants from health facilities and community-based organizations were taught skills such as, strategies for effective counseling, handling negative responses to disclosure of positive status and stigma.

imagesIHVN Senior Technical Officer, Mrs. Comfort Ochigbo noted that identifying sexual partners of people living with HIV and testing them, has led to findings that in AMAC, there is a 51% transmission rate of HIV within the social and sexual network of People Living with HIV, injection drug users and other key population. “The community testing done in the past resulted in findings of only about 0.2% to 0.3% transmission rate. Participants are being trained to educate their patients on the need to disclose their HIV status to their partners and encourage them to get tested for HIV. Those that test positive are immediately placed on treatment.” she said.

Coordinator of AMAC Action Committee on HIV & AIDS, Mrs. Lilian Gonji, said that the approach of testing sexual and social partners of HIV positive individuals has led to increased identification of people living with HIV. According to her, “For the AMAC office, the training is building our capacity to pass on the knowledge to hospital staff. Increased testing for HIV across facilities gives us the right to approach the budget office for support towards sustainability of the program,” she said.

imagesParticipants also consisted of ad-hoc staff stationed in facilities within AMAC, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Agency for the Control of AIDS & STI Program, FCT Agency for the Control of AIDS (FACA) and AMAC staff. A participant at the training, Bunmi Oke said, “with the knowledge I have acquired, I can comfortably step-down and organize HIV services training especially in the area of quality assurance,” he said.

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