There is a huge need to learn about the impact of the COVID-19 on the delivery of sexual and reproductive health services in the Pacific region. The Editorial Team of the PJRH is putting together an article that is comprised of short case reports of cases and or how the pandemic has affected care in communities and populations. The dangers of increasing perinatal and maternal mortality and morbidity remains real as we embrace sporadic cases across the few Pacific countries and the uncertainties created in those who do not have the infection. Prof Caroline Homer and the editorial team is putting this together. Please email your case reports to theresa.mittermeier@psrh.org.nz or caroline.homer@burnet.edu.au.   


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ABSTRACT:

Background: The objective of this study was to determine the knowledge and practices of health care workers in health care facilities in Honiara, Solomon Islands towards people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and key populations.

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional survey of 160 health care workers who voluntarily consented to complete the self-administered questionnaire. Data was analysed and presented in proportions.

Results: The majority of respondents scored >80.0% on HIV transmission, prevention and risk (TPR). In contrast, only 2/18 (11.1%) and 2/5 (40.0%) of respondents scored >80.0% on voluntary counselling, testing and treatment (VCTD) and care and treatment (CT) questions respectively. The majority (83.9%) of participants were afraid of catching HIV at work and 73.0% of health care workers (HCW) felt it was their right to know if a patient is HIV positive to protect them at work. Main concerns about treating people living HIV (PLHIV) among the HCWs were: fear of becoming contaminated (77.7%); not having the materials needed to protect themselves (60.0%); and personal/professional stigma by association (57.1%) and stigma to clinic or health facilities (44.4%).

Conclusion: The study found that except transmission, prevention and risk knowledge, respondents generally displayed low levels of HIV knowledge with high levels of negative attitudes and unacceptable practices. There is a need for further training in HIV for these HCWs focusing on improving HIV knowledge, as well as clinical aspects of HIV care.

Original Research

HIV related knowledge and practice among health care workers in Solomon Islands

Paraniala Silas Lui, Jeganathan Sarangapany, Katherine Coote, Kim Begley, Kamal Kishore, Nixon Panda
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