The Pan-Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) says national AIDS programme managers, civil society organization, HIV clinicians and social workers, have participated in a face to face knowledge exchange in the Dominican Republic.
It said that the five-day event, which was undertaken in collaboration with the Integral Orientation and Research Center (COIN) was to provide participants with first-hand experience of COIN’s operations.
“This included a detailed explanation of how the entity has coordinated and collaborated with the Ministry of Health, other civil society organizations and stakeholders in delivering comprehensive HIV services in communities and to key populations.”
COIN is a social interest institution based in the Dominican Republic that implements HIV prevention, care, treatment and support programmes for key populations. The entity has been a key partner of the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance (Dominican Republic) and grassroots, community-based organizations in service delivery.
PANCAP said that the learning exchange was spearheaded by Dr Shanti Singh-Anthony, its Knowledge Management Coordinator, who said “there was a wealth of knowledge to be shared with our participants on the Dominican Republic’s national HIV response and COIN’s experience of service delivery, prioritization of key populations and their collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance and other in-country partners”.
She further explained that the goal of the knowledge exchange was to share successful models of care delivery in reaching key populations with prevention, Antiretrovirals (ARTs) and support services at the national level and for participants to understand the intersection with community-based models.
“Our objective was for participants to experience successful interventions by COIN aimed at reducing stigma and discrimination among key populations and to expose them to the components of COIN’s Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) programme as a new prevention modality,” she added.
The participants from Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago were also challenged to develop country-specific action plans to enhance in-country collaboration among members of the multidisciplinary team.
“The true measure of success will be the degree to which participants implement COIN’s model of care and other best practices within their country context,’ said Dr Singh-Anthony, adding “we would have succeeded when this highly successful model is utilized to improve HIV prevention services to key populations across the region”.