Representatives from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were in Georgetown from November 15-17 to conduct training on index testing for HIV programme coordinators and front line workers.
Some 22 participants attended from the Ministry of Health, National AIDS Programme (NAPS) and the NGO Positively United to Support Humanity, which represented eight of Guyana’s 10 regions.
Index Testing Services is a highly effective approach to reach and test persons who may have been exposed to HIV through sexual exposure, needle sharing, or as biological children of females living with HIV.
As Guyana has achieved 94% of the first UNAIDS targets, identifying the new cases becomes more difficult. Therefore, improving case-finding strategies and shifting resources from community testing to focused testing are required.
Index testing is a focused testing strategy that is a proven and effective approach. This training serves to train and equip healthcare workers involved in HIV testing and counselling to be able to implement index testing and to assess others in using this high yield modality in a safe and ethical manner.
The training was part of the U.S. $1.5 million funding increase announced earlier in 2021 through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program.