Home » Health Services » HIV Testing Overnight Clinic Opens in Gutu

Meacutedecins Sans Frontiegraveres has introduced an overnight clinic in Gutu to provide HIV testing and counselling for men who shun the services during the day.

Addressing journalists in Gutu last week, MSF field coordinator for Gutu project, Ms Mariana Garcia, said the night clinic was aimed at overcoming barriers to access care when tested in the clinic settings.

“Testing is the first step in the HIV care, hence finding people infected with HIV care prevents morbidity and mortality and reduces further transmission. Night clinics were introduced to adapt the existing model of care that is testing and counselling. We wanted to overcome the barriers in terms of gender as we always get a high number of women getting tested during the day unlike men who do not come to the health facility during the day.

“Antiretroviral treatment level is at 90 percent as a result of the rate of morbidity and mortality that has been achieved with the help of Ministry of Health and Child Care,”she added.

She said a person who tested positive at the clinics would then start treatment on the same day.

“The night clinic offers HIV testing and even starting ARV if one tests positive on the same day if one accepts his or her status and 73 percent of people who come to get tested at the night clinic are men,” she said. Speaking at the same event, MSF Community Art Group’s coordinator Dr Munyaradzi Makari, said community led projects reduced the burden for patients who travelled to other districts for ART.

“Community action groups address the problems of easy access, time people spend in queues to access their drugs and on the other hand it decongest the clinics.

“De-centralisation of ARVs into communities reduce cases of defaulting patients to treatment,” he said.

Community action groups were introduced by MSF and the Ministry of Health and Child Care in a bid to ensure easy access of ARVs. The initiative has so far been implemented in Buhera, Gutu, Tsholotsho and other rural communities.

MSF currently supports HIV treatment for 341 600 people throughout 20 countries.

Seventy-one percent of the 35 million people living with HIV and AIDS globally live in sub-Saharan Africa.

Source : The Herald