Consultative meeting for the inclusion of People Living with HIV (PLHIV) into SRH services during emergencies
The meeting took place via zoom with Brig. Dr. Hemanandi Tamara Wickramasekara, Consultant – SPRINT Project as the facilitator and members from the community organisations; Positive Hopes Alliance, Positive Women's Network and Lanka Plus being participants along with Dr.Himali Priyantha Perera- Coordinator HIV care and Treatment, National STD/AIDS Control Programme (NSACP), Mr.Sunil Jayaweera Director - Preparedness & Planning, Disaster Management Centre, Mr.Chathura Liyanarachchi, Disaster Management Centre and FPA SRINT Project staff. The topics discussed at the consultative meeting revolved around the problems faced by the PLHIV community in an emergency and developing innovative methods and models to cater to these needs during emergencies.
Dr.Tamara elaborated on them, giving prominence to the most relevant objective, Preventing Transmission of and Reduce Mortality and Morbidity from HIV and other STIs, and proceeded to review the gaps identified in the previous meeting. Dr.Himali added her input, and the participants actively participated in the discussion on filling in these gaps.
The suggestions consisted of contraceptives to be included in the Dignity Kit and all the other necessary items for a person living with HIV(e.g., condoms, medicine, vitamins) while protecting their dignity, along with the usual dignity kit items. Other suggestions included encouraging peer counselling and leaflets and posters to be distributed and pinned on notice boards in emergency camps, with a list of contacts and hotlines of organisations such as the FPA and National STD/AIDS Control Programme to be reached for any need that may arise.