SIDC participated in the Second Middle East HIV Nurses Workshop organized by Gilead Foundation in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The participating countries included Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, and Lebanon. The main objective of the workshop was to aim at reaching the UNAIDS 90/90/90 – an ambitious treatment target to help end the aids epidemic – in the Middle East region.
The target states that: “By 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status. By 2020, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy. By 2020, 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression” (http://www.unaids.org/en/resources/documents/2017/90-90-90).
The first day of the workshop examined the importance of testing and diagnosing HIV in patients in the Middle East region, and identified strategies on improving linkage to care to achieve better patient outcomes.
The participants from the different countries contributed to roundtable discussions on best practices of HIV diagnoses and treatment, the role of nurses in optimizing linkage to care for PLHIV, patients’ psychological wellbeing throughout their lives, and how to empower change.
The recommendations revolved around the importance of taking HIV testing to the community level, instead of clinics and labs only.
The second day of the workshop revolved around communication and the nurse-patient interactions. Participants were introduced to the elements of emotional intelligence, and how it affects decision making of the patients in terms of their HIV diagnosis and life style.