AIDS warning for Caribbean countries

MEXICO CITY, Mexico (CMC):
The 17th international AIDS conference opened here Sunday night with a warning to the CARICOM countries that it would not be business as usual in their efforts to achieve the goals associated with universal access.
St Kitts-Nevis Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas who is also chairman of the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP), said while there were many success stories in the HIV/AIDS fight in the Caribbean, several challenges remained.
The Caribbean remains second only to sub-Sahara Africa, which has two-thirds or 67 per cent of all people living with HIV worldwide.
UNAIDS says an estimated 20,000 persons in the Caribbean were infected with the disease and some 14,000 died of AIDS-related illnesses last year.
“Many successes have been achieved in individual Caribbean countries in areas such as care and treatment and prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. However, as a region, there is no certainty that we will achieve universal access goals if we continue to do business as usual,” Douglas said. “Understanding that fact, PANCAP is starting a major advocacy activity in close collaboration with UNAIDS and its co-sponsors.”
In outlining the plan, Douglas, who has responsibility for health in CARICOM’s quasi cabinet, said it would involve the use of available information to support countries using evidence-based research to implement action in a national context where human rights are respected and promoted, stigma and discrimination are dramatically reduced, and most-at-risk populations are the priority of HIV-prevention programmes.

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Author: GLBTQ Jamaica Moderator

Activist and concerned gay man in Jamaica with over 19 years experience in advocacy and HIV/AIDS prevention work, LGBT DJ since 1996.

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