Second Conference on Quality in HIV Prevention in the European Region
Improving Quality in HIV Prevention in Europe (IQhiv) hosted the 2nd Conference on Quality in HIV Prevention in the WHO European Region in Berlin on 23-24 April 2012. This conference was a follow-up to one held in 2008 on the same topic. In fact, IQhiv, which is a joint initiative of WHO/Europe, the German Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) and AIDS Action Europe, grew directly out of opportunities and recommendations identified during the 2008 conference.
The conference used a highly interactive format to engage the 60 plus participants from 20 countries in discussions and small group work on a range of issues related to improving the quality of HIV prevention. For example, participants were able to get hands-on experience with four different quality improvement tools, including three that can be downloaded directly from the IQhiv web site. There were also informative sessions using the innovative open fishbowl and world café methods.
The conference sparked many lively debates about quality improvement in HIV prevention in Europe and around the world. There were extended discussions about the:
- role of participation and self-reflection in quality improvement;
- need for a safe environment to identify and learn from mistakes;
- links between quality and cost–effectiveness, particularly in a time of declining resources for prevention.
There was general agreement that funders, implementers and client populations need to communicate more openly about quality improvement if it was going to be effective and sustainable. There was also a consensus that after years of talk about the importance of quality improvement in HIV prevention, the time had come for action.
A final report from the conference will be available on the IQhiv web site by the end of May 2012.