Photo caption: Mark Eldon-Edington, Division Head, Grant Management, Global Fund, and Dr Jimmie Rodgers, SPC Director-General.
Dr Jimmie Rodgers, SPC Director-General, had a series of meeting with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria at its Geneva headquarters.
The Global Fund is one of the biggest funders of SPC work addressing HIV and other STIs.
Dr Rodgers exchanged views on the situation in the Pacific and discussed way to improve the fight against AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis in meetings with Mark Eldon-Edington, Division Head, Grant Management; Maria Kirova, Department Head, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean; Luca Occhini,
Regional Manager, South and East Asia; and Patricia Kehoe, Senior Fund Portfolio Manager, South and East Asia.
The Pacific has some of the highest prevalence rates for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the world, and people who already have an STI are at greater risk of contracting HIV. While HIV rates are low in most Pacific Island countries and territories, it is thought that there are many undetected cases. Therefore, the introduction of rapid HIV confirmatory testing, which greatly reduces the turnaround time for HIV results, has been a welcome development as it this has helped increase the number of people coming for HIV testing in the region. If test results are positive, people are referred for counselling and treatment – first steps toward halting the spread of HIV and other STIs.