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Thirty – Four members of the Guyana Defence Force, including civilian employees are currently undergoing HIV Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) training which is being facilitated by the National Aids Programme Secretariat (NAPS).

The training commenced on Monday September 15 and will essentially equip participants with the skills to provide VCT services to persons desirous of knowing their status.


National VCT coordinator , Deborah Success- Hall explained that the training is being conducted in three phases: Counselling, Practical and Preceptorship. She noted that it was important for persons accessing the services of VCTs to be prepared psychologically and in this vein, 10 days of the training has been dedicated to Counselling. In this regard too, she pointed out that emphasis is being placed on ensuring that participants are equipped with skills to handle the other cross cutting issues which may affect clients. “ “Sometimes clients come with other social issues which may be affecting them ,so at least we want to ensure that the counsellors and testers are equipped to deal with these issues at least at the basic level” she noted.

She noted that at the end of this counselling phase, participants will be subjected to an evaluation for which they must achieve at least 85% which automatically qualifies them for the Practical Aspect of the training which involves actual Testing. Thereafter, they will move to the Preceptorship phase which will see them attached to a high volume VCT site for first- hand experience in service delivery.

NAPS STI Co-ordinator , Dr. Romona Morgan  and VCT Quality Officer  Delon Braithwaite as well as Trevor McIntosh are also the training facilitators. 

This training builds on previous training that has been done in the past and will enhance the capacity of the Force’s HIV Aids Prevention Programme.   The programme is one of the success stories among the countrywide efforts to fight HIV.