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March 11, 2024

KC CARE Physician Visits Jamaica for HIV Relief

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Dr. Blair Thedinger, a physician at KC CARE Health Center, was recently recruited to participate in the Skills Sharing Program (SSP) for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Dr. Thedinger recently joined a team of doctors and healthcare professionals on a 10-day initial site visit to the PEPFAR-designated country of Jamaica. The site visit was focused on assessing the community’s needs and meeting Jamaican colleagues who are providing HIV services. In Jamaica, Dr. Thedinger witnessed the remarkable work dedicated doctors are undertaking to combat the HIV pandemic.

“I had the opportunity to visit regional health centers and hear the successes and challenges our counterparts in Jamaica encounter,” Thedinger said. “These providers face significant challenges such as long delays in obtaining HIV lab results, antiquated facilities, and periodic pharmacy shortages of critical HIV medications. Despite these challenges they deliver high quality care.” The SSP will be offering monthly virtual sessions. Dr. Thedinger and other physicians will offer technical assistance and training to HIV providers in Jamaica during the recurring calls. The collaboration will address quality improvement projects identified during the site visit.

About PEPFAR:

The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) was started in 2003 by President George W. Bush and has been the single largest commitment by any nation to address a disease in human history. It is estimated the program has saved over 25 million lives and has prevented millions of infections. PEPFAR focuses on providing financial support for access to lifesaving HIV medications. As PEPFAR-designated countries have successfully implemented programs to make treatment accessible, the needs for partnership and support have shifted. PEPFAR countries are now focused on improving the rates of successful treatment as measured by the World Health Organization diagnosis and treatment targets.