The first Western Province HIV Counselling & Testing stakeholder workshop was held from 19 to 21 February 2013 in Kiunga. It was organised and funded by Western Province AIDS Committee (WPAC), in order for stakeholders to meet and share information on HIV services and programs in the province, to find out more about the role of the WPAC, and to identify gaps or changes in programs.
One of the highlights of the workshop was the nomination of the WP HIV Counselling & Testing Integrated Working Committee members. Terms of reference that support the National AIDS Council Strategic Plan 2011-2015 were compiled during the workshop.
Nominated committee members represent STI clinics at Daru, Balimo, Kiunga and Tabubil; Kiunga Hospital; ECPNG Health Services; Catholic Health Services; WPAC and North Fly Health Services Development Program.
The committee’s role is to strengthen and coordinate counselling and testing services in rural health facilities to provide quality user-friendly and stigma free services in all three districts of Western Province. The committee is also responsible for strengthening and coordinating linkages in HIV counselling and testing referral systems between health and social services, and other organisations.
The committee will communicate regularly and meet annually to discuss HIV programs in the three districts. Depending on the WPAC budget, the committee will try to meet twice each year.