“Exciting; Informative; Inspiring”
I am Dr. Basiimwa Roy Clark, a Medical Officer working with JCRC in Republic of Uganda. My background is in General Practice and Medical Research.
My expectation of the conference was to gain a broader understanding and appreciation of Paediatric and Adolescent HIV/AIDS care and management. And I did!
Some of the challenges to HIV care in Uganda include prevailing stigma directed at people living with HIV (PLHIV), drug stock outs, poor adherence to ARVs noted especially in adolescents and emerging HIV drug resistance like resistance to NNRTIs. The training revealed that some of these issues are seen in other countries and by learning from their experience I could tackle the obstacles like finding the root cause of adherence in adolescents and noting when virological failure would be due to drug resistance.
I left the course with a better understanding and approach to management of paediatric and adolescent patients. I better understand the nuances of switching a regimen due to virological failure. I also noted that a PLHIV with good adherence but with consecutive >200c/ml viral loads is suggestive of Drug resistance.
With its widespread information and network of colleagues, the PentaTr@ining courses should be shared with more health workers in the field of Paediatric and Adolescent HIV care like organizing trainings with universities.
By organizing studies and drug trials, Penta ID Network continuously offers information on new ARV regimens, comparing different regimens to ascertain the more effective treatments and improving National guidelines on HIV/AIDS management. Penta ID Network can provide training on emerging HIV drug resistance as well as Drug resistance mapping on a National scale.
To meet the SDGs targets by 2030, HIV/AIDS must be controlled but its hospital management alone will not curb its spread. By continuing the discourse on HIV/AIDS, populations will get sensitised on how to prevent its spread, when and where to get tested, the treatments available and how to live with HIV.
The stigma is due to marginalisation of PLHIV who become viewed as diseased people not capable of leading normal lives plus various myths and misinformation still lingering on about HIV.
PentaTr@ining was my first training of its kind.