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Introduced as a strategic tactic to help raise awareness about the Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Dr Shanti SIngh,cheap nfl jerseys, NAPS Programme ManagerAcquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS), the Ministry of Health’s National Week of Testing, though halted, has been able to realise its goal. At least this is according to Programme Manager of the Ministry’s National AIDS Programme Secretariat (NAPS),Troy Polamalu College Jersey, Dr Shanti Singh.During an interview with this publication recently, Dr Singh noted that while HIV/AIDS was long viewed as a taboo subject it was hoped that this could have been reversed through the National Week of Testing. The Testing Week was introduced during the tenure of then Minister of Health, Dr Leslie Ramsammy, and Dr Singh said that “I think what previously happened really generated the kinds of interest and there was really an impetus and motivation for people to come forward.”Dr Singh continued by pointing out that during the days of the National Week of Testing initiative “it was also sort of aimed at de-stigmatising the whole idea of having an HIV test…and we targeted everyone.” The fight against HIV is however more centred on targeting the most at-risk factions of the population – Commercial Sex Workers (CSWs) and Men who have Sex with Men (MSM).This approach, Dr Singh said, is geared at “helping us to focus on reaching those persons at higher risk, so really being able to utilise resources to get the best value for the dollar, we are really targeting the people that need to get tested.”She however noted that while the Testing Week is currently not active,Henrik Zetterberg Red Wings Jersey, it is gaining some level of discussion as it relates to the way forward.Dr Singh nevertheless asserted that “If we take away that National Week of Testing and the numbers (of persons tested) that we would have accrued for those National Weeks of Testing and we subtract it from everything else (that we’ve been doing) we are still maintaining everything else.” She made this statement to emphasise that aside from the Weeks of Testing the Ministry has been undertaking other measures that have been yielding positive results as it relates to the National HIV/AIDS fight.The NAPS Programme Manager had earlier linked a stabilisation of HIV to the National Week of Testing, which was designed to encourage persons to know their status, and by extension, reduce the level of associated stigma and discrimination. But according to her, it is also linked to a very high quality of service.“We are confident that the persons who are a part of our programme are receiving the best service that we can offer. We know this because we have been measuring the quality of care offered,” said an optimistic Dr Singh.The service offered does not only include the availability of treatment, but also education and counselling sessions.Measuring the quality of care is in fact not a new feature of the programme as, according to Dr. Singh,Per Mertesacker Arsenal Jersey UK, “we have always done that through an estimation process.”“This process is done using a type of software in collaboration with UNAIDS and we have seen stabilisation both in terms of doing the modelling and reports coming to the Ministry…so there is no doubt that there is stabilisation.”And since a vast number of persons have been tested for the virus, there is a noticeable decline in the number of persons testing annually. Some 60,000 tests were conducted last year, according to Dr Singh. Although unable to share precise individual figures,http://www.soccerpro.us.com/Argentina/, she asserted that there has not been an increase in the number of persons testing positive.Dr Singh related that every test that is positive is entered into the Ministry’s Surveillance database, and then based on unique identifiers, surveillance workers are tasked with weeding out duplicates. And it was based on the data currently in the system, she related, that efforts were able to determine that there is a decline in the number of persons testing positive.Guyana’s HIV estimates, as at last year,Wholesale Jerseys Outlet, revealed that some 7,300 people (1.3 per cent of the population) are living with the disease. Plans are currently being streamlined for another estimate to be conducted this year.“We are training, in-house, another group of people to do estimates, and a team will actually be validating the estimates with UNAIDS by the end of this month, and so we should be able to have new numbers to report to everyone at a meeting on April 8th (2015),” Dr Singh told this publication.In speaking about the current status of the programme, Dr Singh asserted that she is satisfied with the current National AIDS Programme, as there is evidence of progress. And this is particularly linked to the fact, she said, that “we have a pool of committed clinical practitioners, a pool of civil society organisations, all of our advocates and our partners are all committed I think, to the response.”
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