HIV Prevention Technocrats to Chart the Way Forward

(CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana) “Sexual and reproductive Health and HIV services provided to most at-risk populations across the Region is not nationally led or driven and governments appear to have no clear strategy for responding to the needs of this population”. This is the finding of one of two studies recently commissioned by the Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP) to ascertain the quantity and quality of available gender specific HIV services for key populations in the Region.

The findings from these studies are on the agenda of the second meeting of the Technical Working Group on Prevention from April 16-17, 2012 in Guyana. The meeting takes place at the CARICOM Secretariat Headquarters and will draw representation from a wide cross section of practitioners in the field of AIDS, including National AIDS Programmes and Civil Society.

Over the two days participants are expected to formulate practical, workable solutions for achieving the HIV Prevention Millennium Development Goal of halving new HIV infections among vulnerable populations by 2015. According to UNAIDS, the Region can only achieve the target ‘Reaching to Zero’, by implementing more evidence-informed, sustainable and cost effective prevention interventions. Research has shown that there exists an inequity in strategies to adequately address programming for most at risk populations. These populations have reported that mainstream services neither have the capacity nor resources to meet their needs.

Among the expected outputs are recommendations to address the key areas of prevention namely, consistency across partners, resource mobilization, mobility of key populations and involvement of the most vulnerable in HIV programming and strategies.

PANCAP is a regional partnership established by CARICOM Heads of Government in 2001 to respond to the HIV and AIDS epidemic in the Caribbean. The prevention of HIV Infection is the main priority of the partnership. The Prevention Technical working Group was established to accelerate the HIV prevention agenda. It will do so by helping to shape the strategic direction of prevention initiatives as well as prevention related research.

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