By Lisa Goudy
The Five Hills Health Region (FHHR) is working towards increasing the rate of screening to prevent and manage sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV.
“The main effort at this time is to increase the levels of testing and to take cases a little earlier so we can prevent further spread,” said FHHR’s medical health officer Dr. Mark Vooght. “The important thing is that we have a focused community engagement method.”
The FHHR recently met for a community-based HIV forum organized by the Regional Intersectoral Committee (RIC) to evaluate where the community can improve in terms of preventing and managing the number of cases.
Vooght said there are four legs to the HIV strategy — prevention and harm reduction, clinical management, community engagement and education, and surveillance and research.
“They all complement one another and it’s going to be important as we try to do more in the area of sexually transmitted infection prevention,” said Vooght. “For example, we now know that actually treating cases of chlamydia and of HIV, it is very important to treat them as early as possible. In order to treat a patient, you need to screen them. You need to test them.”
For more information, see an upcoming edition of the Times-Herald.