IAPAC to launch HIV training, certification program for developing world physicians

The 10,800-member International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care (IAPAC) has announced the launch of its Global AIDS Learning and Evaluation Network (GALEN) to offer medical education, certification and recognition of clinical competencies for physicians treating people with HIV/AIDS in developing countries.

IAPAC President José M. Zuniga said, “It is imperative for IAPAC, as the only global organization exclusively representing HIV care providers, to engage with its membership in the education and support of physicians treating people with HIV/AIDS.” He argued that, in forging partnerships with ministries of health, medical societies, healthcare payers, the private sector and donors, IAPAC can help facilitate the safe and optimal use of HIV/AIDS drugs, including antiretrovirals. “The prospect of anti-HIV drugs at much reduced cost for some people with HIV is progress,” said Dr. D. William Cameron (University of Ottawa), co-chair of the IAPAC Committee developing GALEN.

It makes IAPAC a welcome facilitator of medical education where knowledge is badly needed. “This will be part of our response to AIDS, in providing available medical treatments in the best possible manner.” IAPAC’s International HIV Practice Committee- co-chaired by Cameron and Dr. Elly Katabira (Makrere University, Kampala, Uganda)-is developing an individualized core curriculum of essential basic and advanced information for treating HIV/AIDS in developing countries.

The curriculum will be presented to ministries of health and academic institutions in countries wishing to utilize GALEN. Training and certification-both basic and advanced-will be offered in antiretroviral HIV medicine. Participants who pass the examination(s) will receive an IAPAC HIV medicine certificate entitling him/her to use a certified HIV medical specialist designation.

The initial certification marks the beginning of a one- to two-year certification maintenance cycle with a prescribed schedule of continuing medical education. Countries currently under consideration for IAPAC demonstration projects are Belize, Botswana Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Senegal, South Africa, Thailand and Uganda. This development will come through IAPAC’s current and prospective partnerships with institutions such as UNAIDS and will allow for rapid implementation.

Source: IAPAC News (04.09.01)

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