Background: People Living with HIV (PLHIV) in Singapore continue to face stigma and confidentiality concerns in their interactions with Healthcare Workers (HCWs). There is a recognised gap in HIV related knowledge and lack of training opportunities for HCWs in Singapore, particularly amongst non-physicians and other HCWs who do not regularly care for PLHIV. The HCW HIV Education Series was conceptualised to address these issues and to improve the HIV related knowledge, attitudes and practices of HCWs in Singapore.
Methods: The HCW HIV Education Series is organised by an inter-professional organising committee. The series is made up of 4 half day modules which are conducted quarterly. The modules are designed and implemented to cater to as many HCWs as possible. The modules function as a series but can also be run as standalone education sessions. The modules are: HIV Basics, Working with PLHIV, Basic HIV Clinical Care and Advanced HIV Clinical Care. In its pilot year (2016/2017), 334 HCWs, predominantly nurses, pharmacists and social workers attended the series. The HCWs attended from diverse healthcare settings, including public and private hospitals, nursing homes, faith based and community organisations. Pre and post module evaluations were completed by participants.
Results: Only 5% of Module 1 attendees had previously received training in HIV. Across all 4 modules, there was a marked improvement in knowledge and confidence pre and post training. 95% of attendees across all modules felt that they had gained new skills that would add value to their work. While 97% of attendees of Module 1 planned to attend future modules, the attrition rate between modules was high.
Conclusion: The HCW HIV Education Series is highly evaluated and well attended. Efforts to maintain and strengthen attendance across all modules is needed, the delivery of the modules over a two day period may be an effective way to achieve this. Research into the experiences of PLHIV in healthcare facilities should also be considered.
F. Ng, None
C. C. Lee, None
S. Archuleta, None