Workshop on differentiated care services for HIV positives held

Thursday 19 April 2018

To expand the access to anti-retroviral therapy (ART) for people living with HIV, a workshop was organized in Sylhet between the dates 29/03/2018 and 30/03/2018. The theme was differentiated ART service delivery including community component for Bangladesh. Directorate General of Health Services’s AIDS/STD Program (ASP) and Save the Children’s HIV/AIDS Program jointly organized this workshop.

In the workshop, the participants analyzed different scenarios of ART users to develop a model for ART delivery other than the existing method which is undifferentiated to individual needs. It is noteworthy that the HIV care including ART delivery has been shifted from NGO settings to government facilities since 2012.

The participants also specially pointed out that there is a growing cohort of patients who have been on treatment for several years and at the same time, there is a need to expand timely access to ART for those who have yet to start. They suggested to reflect the preferences and expectations of various groups of people living with HIV across the cascade and refocus resources to those in need.

Dr. M. Salim uzzaman, Principal Scientific Officer, Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control & Research (IEDCR) presented the keynote paper on the differentiated approaches to HIV care. In the workshop Professor Dr. Abul Faiz, Former Director General, DGHS and Professor of Medicine and Vice Chair BCCM, Dr. Sher Mostafa Sadiq Khan, Director, NASC and Dr. Himangshu Lal Roy, Civil Surgeon, Sylhet were also present and shared invaluable experiences and suggestions.

Attending the opening and closing sessions, Prof. Dr. Md. Shamiul Islam, Director – MBDC & Line Director – TBL & HIV, DGHS demonstrated his commitments to adopt the model in course of time for delivering quality services to people living with HIV based on the recommendations of the workshop.

In her welcoming note, Dr. Lima Rahman, Chief of Party of HIV/AIDS Program anticipated that the participants who previously contributed in the development of ART services delivery would further contribute to develop a differentiated model for Bangladesh. With all these exercises’ outcome and recommendations, a process has been started to develop a national protocol/framework for the country. Md. Akhtaruzzaman, Sr. Manager, AIDS/STD Program and Dr. Md. Shahidul Islam, Sr. Manager, PWID and CST interventions, Save the Children facilitated the workshop.