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Key Decision Makers Tackle Important Issues Affecting the Region's Response to HIV

Region's Response to HIV4 September 2014  (Port of Spain, Trinidad) — Key decision makers of the Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) met this week for a series of strategic meetings vital to the region’s continued response to HIV.

Notable achievements of the meetings were the endorsement of the Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework (CRSF), 2014-2018 and the endorsement of the next steps in the process of applying for a valuable Global Fund Grant under the New Funding Model.

The Priority Areas Coordinating Committee (PACC), the Executive Board of PANCAP and the Regional Coordinating Mechanism (RCM) work together to guide the work across the Caribbean by the Ministries of Health, faith-based organisations, community groups and others committed to reducing the spread and impact of HIV.

The Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework (CRSF) serves as the primary guiding document to this work. The latest version of the CRSF, 2014-2018 was endorsed by the Executive Board of PANCAP. The CRSF, 2014-2018 has been drafted through a series of discussions with member states and organisations, and is based on the data and research gathered from across the region, taking into account global developments. It includes six priority areas, as well as a clear plan and defined activities. There is a focus on reducing stigma and discrimination as a way of halting the spread of HIV by providing access to health services to all people regardless of their age, gender, sexual orientation, race, citizenship, ethnicity or any other factor.

The Global Fund continues to be a key supporter of the work of PANCAP. During the meeting, the status of the current PANCAP Global Fund Round Nine Grant—Phase Two was shared. PANCAP is now applying for a three-year grant to focus on human rights issues. Earlier this year, an expression of interest was submitted to the Global Fund and following a review, PANCAP was invited to submit a concept note. The meetings this week provided an opportunity for the leadership of PANCAP to contribute to the regional dialogue process, a key requirement of the New Funding Model. The regional dialogue with a wide cross section of stakeholders, including key populations will continue over the next two months.

The Caribbean Regional Network of People Living with HIV (CRN+) provided an update on its achievements and priorities. The establishment of a policy and strategy working group (PSWG) on stigma and discrimination tasked with guiding PANCAP’s efforts to reduce stigma and discrimination across the region was endorsed, and will meet for the first time on Wednesday, 24 September. The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Caribbean programme provided an update on the recent PEPFAR developments in the Caribbean. PEPFAR will be shifting its focus to countries with high HIV prevalence and high disease burden and to activities with key populations in the Caribbean.

Attendees of the meetings include representatives from member states, the CARICOM Secretariat, key populations, Pan Caribbean Business Coalition, youth, people living with HIV and other regional organisations working in the region. The full list of attendees and the outcomes of the meetings will be available on the PANCAP website www.pancap.org.

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CMLF News Issue #7
27th January 2016