Progress in Caribbean HIV response, yet punitive laws continue to hamper access to services for most vulnerable

Published: November 1, 2010

At the 10th annual general meeting of the Pan-Caribbean Partnership Against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP), held in St Maarten, Netherlands Antilles, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé joined former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Caribbean leaders to take stock of progress, challenges and lessons learned in the regional response to the HIV epidemic over the past decade.

In his remarks at the opening of the meeting, Mr Sidibé congratulated leaders across the region for keeping HIV high on the development agenda and highlighted the critical role that PANCAP can play in accelerating the HIV response. “PANCAP is the tool for helping us make the call for social justice in the Caribbean,” he said.

According to a new UNAIDS report, The Status of the HIV epidemic in the Caribbean, there were between 210 000 and 270 000 people living with HIV in the Caribbean in 2008. Haiti and the Dominican Republic account for about 70% of all people living with HIV in the region. In the English-speaking Caribbean, Jamaica is the country most affected by the epidemic, with an estimated 27 000 people living with HIV.

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