Another 100 primary care physicians trained in HIV testing and counseling in Lviv
On March 27-31, 2023, the second stage of the “Voluntary counseling and testing with rapid HIV tests by family doctors”, training for family doctors, was held in Lviv. Another 100 primary care physicians received advanced knowledge from the teams of the most efficient 100% Life projects.
The pilot project among the Lviv healthcare community is a joint activity of the HealthLink project, the country’s largest HIV testing project, which CO 100% Life is implementing with the support of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the “Your Family Doctor” non-government association. Partners of the event included the Lviv City Council and the Second Lviv Medical Association.
The regional provider of the HealthLink project is the 100% Life regional center in Lviv. CO BT Network Lviv is team of assistants and experts for family doctors assisting in the matters of HIV diagnostics, testing, detection, social support and organization of treatment of HIV-positive patients.
During the training, doctors received useful theoretical and practical knowledge and skills, which are certified by a diploma with the CPD score (continuous professional development). Healthcare workers receive a set of information materials, including universal manuals for doctors, manuals for communicating with patients, “Ask me about HIV” badges, sticker packs and more.
The training of doctors is designed to increase the number of testing based on medical institutions, so that every resident of Lviv region who seeks medical care has the opportunity to be tested for HIV quickly, free of charge and confidentially. Timely initiation of treatment and dealing with stigma are also part of this massive curriculum.
Nazarii Kolachynskyi, Deputy Head of the Health Department of the Lviv City Council, noted that in 2022, only 3,700 HIV tests were conducted by primary care doctors. After the start of training, doctors have already conducted 7,000 HIV tests in the first three months of 2023!
The curriculum includes:
- Discussion on the status of implementation of the UNAIDS Strategy to Accelerate the Response to HIV/AIDS by 2030. National HIV testing strategy in Ukraine for 2019-2030.
- Updating the information needed by family doctors to provide HIV testing services: laboratory diagnostics of HIV infection; indications for HIV testing; counseling algorithms, rights and obligations of PLHIV and medical workers.
- Practicing HIV rapid testing skills.
- QA session with an HIV-positive patient.
- Patient route from detection to ART.
During the first stage of training in January-February, 5 one-day training sessions were held for various groups of family doctors, this allowed providing training to 109 specialists. In April, 100 family doctors attended training sessions on “Voluntary counseling and testing with rapid HIV tests by family doctors”.
By the end of June 2023, more than 500 primary care physicians will have to be trained in Lviv. Moreover, after the second series of training, the HealthLink and TSL teams, together with partners at the regional level, decided to continue and expand the program: in July 2023, similar training sessions will be held for family doctors of the Lviv region and will cover the entire region’s healthcare community of family doctors!
Such effective dissemination of important skills among Lviv’s healthcare community was made possible thanks to the HealthLink project with the support of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in cooperation with the “Your Family Doctor” non-government association supported by CO 100% Life. Partners of the event are Lviv City Council and the Second Lviv Medical Association.