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St Kitts PM Urges His Colleagues To Eradicate HIV

UNAIDS PM-HarrisBRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Monday July 6, 2015 – St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris is urging policymakers and practitioners in the region to find the formula for scaling up investments in treating and preventing HIV/AIDS.

This, he emphasized, required targeting the marginalized populations and those most at risk of the HIV infection; securing long term supplies of affordable first, second and third line anti-retroviral treatment; providing accurate and up to date epidemiological data for the region and disseminating it in a timely manner to shape policy.

He was speaking at the Caribbean launch of the UNAIDS-Lancet Commission report, Defeating AIDS- Advancing Global Health last Friday, during the CARICOM Heads of Government summit.

The CARICOM head with responsibility for HIV and health called on all partners to work toward to goal of making the Caribbean the first region to end the AIDS epidemic.

“As we grasp the opportunities that beckon us in the post 2015 development era, the Caribbean has to focus the conversation on what the various sectors and partners can do to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030,” he said.

The St. Kitts and Nevis leader contended that the focus should be on populations at higher risks, especially girls and young women, men who have sex with men and commercial sex workers, emphasizing equality in treatment and prevention and eliminating HIV related stigma and discrimination which fan the flames of the disease.

UNAIDS Head Table

Harris further urged the region to continue to press for the barriers of discrimination in funding HIV and other diseases, based solely on the criteria of middle and upper middle income status that adversely affects the Caribbean, to be broken down.

He called for the scaling up of funding, by building on the model of the Global Fund for AIDS TB and Malaria (GFATM) and applying it to integrated and sustainable health.

The St. Kitts and Nevis leader also called on the states in the region to consider the establishment of a Caribbean Health and Equity Fund.

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CMLF News Issue #7
27th January 2016