PANCAP PrEP Share Fair – Bridgetown, Barbados
The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines oral pre-exposure prophylaxis of HIV infection (PrEP) as the use of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs by people who do not have HIV infection in order to prevent the acquisition of HIV and recommends that people of substantial risk should be offered PrEP. WHO recommends offering PrEP to all population groups at substantial risk of HIV infection. PrEP is considered a key prevention modality and should be an additional prevention choice in a comprehensive package of services that also includes HIV testing, Screening and management of sexually transmitted infections, counselling, male and female condoms, lubricants, ARV treatment for partners with HIV infection, voluntary medical male circumcision and harm reduction interventions for people who use drugs.
In the English-speaking Caribbean, only The Bahamas and Barbados have developed and implemented PrEP programmes. In both cases, this was done in close collaboration with civil society organisations and in the case of The Bahamas, with the private health sector. Both countries have at least one year of implementation experience and are ready to share lessons learned that are beneficial and can potentially be applied in other Caribbean countries.
The PANCAP Coordinating Unit (PCU), with funding under the CARICOM-Global Fund Project- Removing Barriers to accessing HIV and Sexual and Reproductive Health Services for Key Populations in the Caribbean – will convene a PrEP Share Fair on 16-17 July 2019 in Bridgetown, Barbados.
This Share fair will build on the south to south learning exchange to The Bahamas which was focused on understanding lessons learned that can be applied in Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. This Share fair will expand the PrEP knowledge base through the inclusion of participants from an additional eight countries- Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Suriname, St. Kitts and Nevis and Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, in addition to other participants from Guyana and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
The Overall Objective of the Share fair is to increase national AIDS programme (NAP) managers, clinical practitioners, civil society organisations (CSO) and other stakeholders’ understanding of the process for rolling out PrEP programmes.
- To facilitate participants’ understanding of the role of national AIDS programmes and civil society organisations in the design, implementation and monitoring of PrEP programmes.
- To increase participants’ understanding of the collaboration that is required among NAP managers, CSO representatives and other stakeholders to design, implement and monitor PrEP programmes.
- To enable participants to understand the factors that facilitated Barbados’ design, implementation and monitoring of its PrEP programme as well as the challenges.
- To identify lesson learned in the design, implementation and monitoring of Barbados PrEP programme and how these can be applied to different countries.
- To share country experiences on the status of their planning for, and implementation of PrEP.
- To enable participants to become familiar with the WHO PrEP toolkit.
- To develop country-specific work-plans with time-bound action items to advance PrEP in the respective countries.
Share Fair Methodology
A multipronged knowledge management approach will be utilised as follows:
- Expectation Board: an expectation board will be established at the beginning of the first day. This will allow facilitators to manage participants’ expectations, determine whether defined expectations were met at the end of the Share Fair, and identify outstanding issues that require follow up.
- Presentation sessions: these sessions will focus on the fundamentals of PrEP and introduce participants to WHO PrEP toolkit and other related resources. Also, Barbados will provide an overview of the status of implementation of PrEP, share highlights of their PrEP policy and guidelines and discuss the organisational systems, processes and tools which were established for effective implementation of their PrEP programme.
- Participatory group sharing: this will be done as an open fishbowl exercise where PrEP clients will share their experiences of contemplating, initiating and staying on PrEP. The open fishbowl will facilitate conversations with the participants to enable them to understand the role of the client, civil society organisations, PrEP service delivery sites and the national HIV programme in delivering PrEP. The fishbowl will also encourage conversations and enable participants to share ideas around facilitating factors, challenges and lessons learned in the delivery of PrEP at the different levels- client, CSOs, service delivery sites.
- Site Visits: these will serve as the practical component of the PrEP experience that will build on the didactic presentation sessions described above. Participants will visit the Lady Meade Reference Unit and EQUALS for a first-hand experience of PrEP delivery. The site visits will culminate with a plenary feedback session from participants.
- Country work-planning sessions: countries will work in teams to define two to three action items which they will implement to advance preparation for PrEP delivery in their respective countries. Teams will present their work-plans that will include technical assistance that they need to implement their work-plans.
- After Action Review: this will be conducted at the end of the Share Fair to determine what worked and what didn’t. This is a continuous quality improvement initiative that will allow for enhanced implementation of future knowledge sharing events.