HIV prevention pill launched through private/civil society partnership

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A newly-opened private clinic on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) to make HIV prevention medication more available in an effort to provide a number of services to prevent new infections.

World AIDS Day was recently observed under the theme – Communities make the difference – and with over 8000 persons affected with HIV in Guyana,

Midway Specialty Care Centre is located on Carmichael Street in Georgetown. The two organisations are convinced that with this collaboration, services such as pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP would prevent persons who are at high risk from contracting HIV by taking a pill every day.

As a result of the MoU, the clinic will be providing technical and clinical support and also make the HIV prevention pill more accessible.

“Midway and SASOD Guyana will be providing pre-exposure prophylaxis and non-occupational post-exposure prophylaxis as part of combination prevention which includes condoms and lubes, STI screening and management, HIV testing and counselling, risk reduction management and harm reduction,” Dr Ruth Ramos Gonzalez who will be stationed at the clinic said.

Dr. Ruth Ramos Gonzalez and Managing Director of SASOD Joel Simpson sign the MoU

Dr Gonzalez will be working with a nurse, Lois Barrow and Dr Frank Anthony at the clinic.

The MoU will also allow for counselling, mental and emotional support along with sexual and reproductive health services.

Managing Director for SASOD, Joel Simpson said the services at the clinic will be available on weekdays from December 9, while SASOD will provide service at its office on Duncan Street at the weekend starting from January 4 2020.

“Part of what the MoU says is that Midway is responsible for ensuring that compliance with all the national laws, medical protocols, medical standards are across both clinics, the main clinic here and the community satellite at SASOD,” Simpson said.

Dr. Ruth Ramos Gonzalez

“The big key between what would be happening here at Midway during the week and what’s happening at SASOD, is that Midway is only opened during the week, we’re open on Saturdays and we are not charging any consultations fees, we are trying to reach those who may not be able to afford all of the services.”

SASOD is recognized for its response in the fight against HIV in Guyana and the Caribbean, while the private clinic provides treatment for non-communicable and infectious disease internationally with eight centres in the United States.

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