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Experts discuss HIV outbreak control strategies 

KARACHI: The officials of the Sindh Health Department met with the UN partners and doctors from different institutions across the province for the Inter-Agency HIV Response Coordination meeting held at a local hotel in Karachi.

During this meeting, the Sindh government HIV Outbreak Response was discussed. The HIV outbreak response plan includes multiple targets like enhancing the capacities of health workers and institutions for managing HIV outbreaks, strengthening health systems for the continuum of prevention, treatment, care and support services for HIV/AIDS, strengthening communities, social mobilization, strategic communication and advocacy initiatives, and sustained quality HIV response in the province.

All of the above targets have been given specific timelines, and the responsibilities have been distributed between the SACP, DoH, SBTA, Drug Control Department, DARP, SHCC, and district administrations. The contributing partners for all these targets are the WHO, UNICEF, UNAIDS, AKUH, DUHS, Population Welfare Department, UNFPA, USAID, SIUT, and MMIDSPS.

The outbreak response plan was initially devised by the Sindh Health Department, SACP, and the technical teams of the UN Partners based on the initial response of the WHO’s HIV Outbreak Investigation Mission in Larkana.

This immediate short term plan which was based on four localized technical working groups – epidemiology, treatment and care, infection prevention control, and community engagement and response has been made fully functional with teams on the ground.

A fifth group was added to this plan in the meeting today by the name of resource mobilization. The resource mobilization group will support in oversight and functionality of all the other groups formed earlier.

It was also decided in the meeting that an HIV behavioural and biological survey will also be conducted in all prison setups from July 2019 onwards by the SACP and DoH.

The meeting was attended by the Sectary Health Sindh, DG Health Sindh, Technical Sectary Health Sindh, CEO, PPHI, CEO, SHCC, Program Manager, LHW/ TB/SACP/SBTA/Hepatitis/Child Survival Program, officials from AKUH, SIUT, DUHS and UN Partners.

June 24, 2019

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