Inaugural HIV/STI conference slated for December 4

– free STI testing, other health services to be offered

In observance of World AIDS Day, the National Aids Programme Secretariat (NAPS) will be hosting an inaugural Continuing Medical Education (CME) HIV/STI (Sexually Transmitted Infections) conference on December 4, under the theme ‘Equalise’.

The event will be held at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre from 09:00 hours to 13:30 hours.

Programme Manager of the National Aids Programme Secretariat (NAPS), Dr. Tariq Jagnarine

NAPS’ Programme Manager, Dr Tariq Jagnarine during a recent interview said the objective is to provide healthcare personnel CME to understand the evolution of HIV and STI treatment.

“The entire objective of this conference is that a lot of new best practices have been coming out with HIV…many new guidelines came out last year, in fact, the HIV guideline was updated last year. The STI guidelines, new approaches in terms of PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), NPEP (Nonoccupational HIV Postexposure Prophylaxis), self-testing, new changes in treatment for STIs and many persons out there are not updated,” Dr Jagnarine disclosed.
The conference will also be opened to the public. Persons will be able to access free STI and HIV testing and other health services.

Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs), private and civil society bodies will have booths set up as well.

The Programme Manager stated that the conference also aims to educate persons on the available treatment options for HIV and the other STIs.

“It’s no longer life-threatening. It is life-changing. No one wants to get HIV. We should all be safe but ultimately, treatment is available. We want people to actually know that. Know that they can go to any one of the care and treatment health centres and get treatment,” he said.

This is the first conference that will be focusing specifically on HIV and STIs. The objective is for the event to become an annual one. Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony, officials from UNAIDS, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other international bodies will be present at the conference.