AIDS-free Caribbean possible with involvement of all – PANCAP

This year’s World AIDS Day theme, ‘Ending the AIDS epidemic as part of the Sustainable Development Goals’ (SDGs) aligns with the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV/AIDS’s (PANCAP) new vision of an AIDS-free Caribbean.

In a message to mark World AIDS Day today, PANCAP shared that three of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by countries in September to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all, are relevant to the agenda currently being pursued by PANCAP.

The release stated that SDG 3 – Good health and well-being – aligns with the role the Caribbean is playing in ensuring that HIV and AIDS are retained as key issues on the Post 2015 Development Agenda and in raising awareness of the importance of a holistic, comprehensive approach to health. SDG 5 – Gender equality – is in line with the Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework 2014-2018, that articulates the need to promote positive norms and behaviour in support of gender equality and the reduction of gender-based violence and gender-role serotyping.

The PANCAP Justice for All programme which underscores the elimination of HIV-related discriminatory practices particularly in key populations such as gay men and sex workers as well as in gender-based violence and child abuse correlates with SDG 16 – Peace, justice and institutions, the release noted.

It quoted Director of the PANCAP Coordinating Unit Dereck Springer as saying that the Caribbean along with the world is optimistic about eradicating the epidemic by 2030, based on the UNAIDS global targets of 90-90-90: 90% of persons living with HIV tested and know their status, 90% of those diagnosed with HIV retained on treatment and 90% of those on treatment achieving viral suppression.

He however acknowledged a region free of AIDS can only be achieved with the involvement of all, advocacy on the parts of governments; increased domestic investment from the private sector; and the participation of faith-based organisations, youth and civil society as well as the affected community.

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