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TCI Participates In 8th Meeting Of National HIV/AIDS Programme Managers And PANCAP Share Fair

The Turks and Caicos Islands, represented by Dr. Camelia Clarke, Director of the Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit within the Ministry of Health and Human Services, recently participated in the Eighth Meeting of National HIV/AIDS Programme Managers (NAP) and the PANCAP Share Fair, held in Trinidad and Tobago from March 18 to March 21, 2024.


 The Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) provides a unified approach to the Caribbean’s response to the HIV epidemic, coordinating efforts through the Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework on HIV and AIDS.


This event provided a platform for updating Programme Managers and Partners on regional commitments to the 95-95-95 targets, progress on global and regional strategies to end AIDS, and innovative approaches to strengthen the Caribbean regional HIV response.


The 95-95-95 targets aim to ensure that 95% of people living with HIV know their status, 95% of those diagnosed with HIV are on treatment, and 95% of those on treatment achieve viral suppression.

The meeting was attended by National AIDS Programme Managers, policy makers, Development and Regional Partners, and selected Implementing Partners, including representatives of civil society organizations, the community of People Living with HIV (PLHIV), and those at the highest risk for HIV.


This gathering served as a crucial platform for sharing insights, exploring strategies, and fostering collaboration to accelerate progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS.


Objectives of the Meeting:

1. Introduce new NAP Managers to the mandate and framework of PANCAP to ensure ongoing collaboration and coordination at national and regional levels.

2. Provide information on international frameworks and guidance to address gaps in the HIV response in the Caribbean.

3. Offer updated guidance on HIV self-testing (HIVST), Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP).

4. Share country policy and implementation experiences on HIVST, PrEP, and PEP.

5. Discuss lessons learned from the regional and national responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and explore their applicability to the HIV response.

6. Share insights on the implementation of point-of-care testing.

7. Provide updates on partnership work and technical support provided to countries.

8. Strengthen the network of NAP managers, civil society organizations, and key partners.


 Key Outcomes from the Meeting:

Scaling Up HIV Testing and Prevention: Participants were actively involved in discussions aimed at expanding HIV self-testing (HIVST) initiatives across the region. Acknowledging the significant impact of HIVST on enhancing access to testing, prevention, and care services, delegates stressed the importance of collaborative regional efforts to achieve greater effectiveness in reaching prevention targets.

2.      Person-Centered Differentiated Model of Care: The urgent call to embrace a person-centered approach to HIV treatment and care was emphasized. By streamlining and customizing HIV services to address the unique needs of individuals, especially those living with or vulnerable to HIV, unnecessary strains on the healthcare system can be alleviated, while simultaneously enhancing the quality of care.


Emphasis on Integration, which is the co-location and sharing of services and resources between different health services areas and includes offering testing, prevention, treatment, and care services alongside other relevant health services.


Utilization of Information and Communications Technology (ICT): Delegates identified the increased utilization of ICT platforms as a pivotal factor in advancing the regional HIV response. From telemedicine initiatives to tailored ICT platforms designed to reach vulnerable populations, delegates explored innovative approaches to advocacy, mobilization, and empowerment in the fight against HIV/AIDS.


Community Engagement: Recognizing the indispensable role of communities in propelling national HIV responses, delegates underscored the importance of robust, cohesive community engagement. Communities were urged to assume a defining role not only in HIV-related endeavors but also in broader health initiatives, highlighting the significance of grassroots involvement and empowerment.


The meeting concluded with a commitment to implement the key strategies discussed and ensure tangible progress in addressing HIV and AIDS in the Caribbean.


The Director of Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit, Dr Clarke, commented on the conference “Achieving the 95-95-95 targets requires collective action and unwavering commitment from all sectors of society. We need to insist on continued collaboration, resource mobilization, increased innovation and advocacy efforts to accelerate progress towards ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030”.


For more information on HIV/AIDS, please visit the Turks and Caicos Islands Ministry of Health and Human Services Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/tciministryofhealth/.

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