Background Over the last decade, Guyana has developed and strengthened surveillance, prevention and care and treatment for HIV. These interventions have resulted in a decline in HIV prevalence in antenatal as well as most at risk populations (MARPs defined as female sex workers, men who have sex with men (MSM), in and out of school youth, military and police). For non-HIV STI, a structured programme did not exist prior to 2005. From 2007 to 2009, the reported cases of STI increased significantly. In addition to HIV, non HIV STI has been identified as a priority for prevention and control by the National AIDS Program Secretariat (NAPS), Guyana Ministry of Health (MOH).
Methods In conjunction with the Pan American Health Organisation and other international and local stakeholders, NAPS/MOH worked with local and external consultants to develop a STI strategy. Consultation meetings were held in Guyana and relevant documents were reviewed.
Results A STI strategy for 2011–2020 has been developed. The strategy outlines activities that will build on existing HIV, antenatal and visualisation under acetic acid (VIA) programmes. In addition, activities have been outlined to build on existing second generation HIV surveillance initiatives currently in place in MARPs. Strategies to ramp up the provision of care and treatment for STI in existing primary care settings have also been addressed. The strategy highlights activities under five priority areas: (1) Programme Management and Coordination, (2) Prevention, (3) Laboratory, (4) Care and Treatment and (5) Surveillance. Under each priority area, broad goals, guiding principles, specific objectives, performance milestones and activities have been developed. A Monitoring and Evaluation plan will be a key part of the document to monitor progress during the strategy. The strategy will coordinate the activities of international and local agencies including non governmental and faith based organisations as well as persons from MARPs.
Conclusions Guyana has developed a comprehensive 10-year plan for the prevention and control of non HIV sexually transmitted infections which will build on existing programmes for HIV, antenatal and VIA programmes.
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