“Unique; Irreplaceable; Outstanding. We have reduced the number of lectures, increased the work in small groups. Timely topics have replaced old stuff. Steve has a never-ending urge to improve the course and an ability to bring people together in a learn-friendly atmosphere. That has made the course what it is!”
The main challenge/barrier to successful HIV treatment is the education of both the caregiver and the patients. It is more than understanding the effects and side-effects of anti-HIV drugs as HIV is still stigmatised all over the world. Overcoming the stigma of HIV in a sensitive and clever way is the key to treatment success. The Penta training courses do just that!
I have used the knowledge that I acquired from the courses for both the treatment of my own patients and the training of my colleagues. Apart from educating about drugs and their side-effects, many other non-medical aspects of HIV are challenged and discussed. In addition to the lectures delivered, it is the work in smaller groups that is really special in the Penta courses, helping overcome the barriers that most of the participants have when they want to speak about HIV.
The exchanges among participants from different regions within the country is key to building the trust that is needed to formulate national guidelines and a uniform policy towards fighting HIV. The interaction with international doctors and local doctors is highly instructive for both sides, and the participants usually understand very quickly that an open and trustful exchange on sensitive topics in HIV medicine behind closed doors is the most effective way to learn and then treat your patients successfully.
Moreover, the spectrum of coinfections and other infectious diseases that are also dealt with in the Penta courses is very different from country to country and both the participants as well as the faculty will learn on other infectious diseases as well, an outstanding example is tuberculosis.
Sexually transmitted diseases have always been stigmatised. Still there is notion about HIV that it is deadly/fatal and that is why people are scared and don’t want to talk about it. This clearly can be changed and people could learn that this is a chronic disease that can be well treated. This information is still not out there.
PentaTr@ining has been outstanding because it is more international, more global. Its interactive group discussion work, involving specialists with different expertise and nationalities, make PentaTr@ining better than most other courses I have attended. The spirit of the Penta ID Network has always aimed at successful high-level scientific collaboration. Crucial to this success is the involvement of all kinds of disciplines ranging from paediatrics to adult medicine, from pharmacology to social work to psychologists to immunologists and infectious disease specialists and many more. This mixture of different disciplines is unique to the Penta ID Network.