President to launch Caribbean initiative for HIV treatment, care
Stabroek News
September 18, 2001

President Bharrat Jagdeo will today formally launch a Caribbean initiative to improve treatment and care for people living with HIV in the region.

According to a press release from the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (CAREC) the two-day exercise, beginning today at Le Meridien Pegasus, will pave the way for the provision of cheaper and affordable treatment and supporting mechanisms for infected persons and their families.

The exercise, organised by CAREC in collaboration with the Caribbean Community Secretariat (CARICOM), will bring together a range of regional and international disciplines from government, private and public sector institutions and non-governmental organisations to develop plans.

The release quoted CAREC Director, Dr James Hospedales, as saying that the end product of the efforts could result in a dramatic change to the HIV and AIDS landscape in the region.

CAREC is about to embark on anew five-year strategic plan on HIV/AIDS prevention and control for the 21 countries in the region with the support of its international partners, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the European Union (EU), the French Technical Co-operation (FTC), the German Technical Co-operation (GTZ), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID).

According to the release the new momentum seeks to address all of the issues faced by the Caribbean countries in their fight against the disease, with some intensity. The planners will be challenged to change a scenario which still sees most of the national programmes operating according to the old paradigm that focuses primarily on prevention despite the experience, even on their doorstep in the Bahamas, which shows the need for balanced integrated prevention, care and support programmes.