(CNS)– The Pan-Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP), says it will host a meeting in Trinidad and Tobago later this month aimed at how best to collaborate to end the HIV/AIDs epidemic.
It said the Joint Regional Dialogue with Faith Leaders, Parliamentarians, Civil Society Leaders, National AIDS Programme Managers and Youth Leaders will take place April 24-25 and will bring together delegates from across the Caribbean under the PANCAP Justice for ALL (JFA) programme.
PANCAP said since the inauguration of the JFA programme in 2013, it has convened approximately 16 consultations with national and regional stakeholder groups, meeting separately and in some cases jointly.
“All groups have agreed to contribute to ending AIDS around 15 actionable recommendations included in the PANCAP JFA Road Map. Some of these actions are already being implemented. Others can be implemented immediately while a few others require further discussion for implementation in the medium and long terms,” PANCAP said.
PANCAP Director, Dereck Springer referring to the latest status report on AIDS by UNAIDS is of the view that “while there have been many successes in the areas of prevention and treatment, much more has to be done with respect to behaviour change, reducing stigma and discrimination, sustainable financing for HIV and integrated health if we are to get to the finishing line. AIDS is far from over”.
Indeed, the Caribbean can celebrate the fact that seven of the 11 Countries in the world to achieve the elimination of mother-to-child transmission are from this region and approximately 52 percent of People Living with HIV are now on treatment compared to less than five percent when PANCAP was established in 2001.
Scientific studies have established the 90-90-90 Targets. These reveal that if by 2020, 90 percent of the people living with HIV get tested, 90 percent of those testing positive are treated immediately and 90 percent of those on treatment achieve low levels of virus in their blood so as not to transmit the disease, AIDS can be ended by 2030.