Communiqué – Dialogue between Religious Leaders and Key Populations, February 7-9, 2018, Paramaribo, Suriname

Opening Ceremony

Canon Garth Minott, Co-Chair, described the dialogue between Caribbean Religious Leaders and Representatives of key populations (sex workers, the LGBT community, Transgender community, etc.) as a historic occasion. He highlighted that it was one of the major outcomes of the PANCAP Conference involving 50 Religious Leaders from across the Caribbean Region held in Trinidad and Tobago February 1-2, 2017. He stated that the aim of the dialogue was to establish how the collaboration between Religious Leaders and Key Populations could contribute to the Region’s quest to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. He identified the focus as:

• Addressing the gaps in treatment and prevention of HIV with special reference to the 90-90-90 test and treat targets and the strategies for combination prevention
• Promoting the reduction of stigma and discrimination especially in relation to key populations
• Promoting a viable legislative environment while fostering compliance with the principles of human rights, human sexuality, and human dignity.
• Forging partnerships and reconciling overlapping and divergent aspects of secular and religious governance that deal with the sacredness and wholeness of each person and social action to promote their dignity

Mr. Dereck Springer brought greetings from Prime Minister, Timothy Harris, CARICOM Lead Head for Human Resources, Health and HIV and Ambassador Irwin La Rocque, CARICOM Secretary General. He stated that the dialogue is a milestone for PANCAP and is consistent with the goals of the PANCAP Justice for All Programme as well as the 2016 UN Political Declaration to which all CARICOM States are committed. In his view, it reflects the attempt to better understand the convergence of the social and theological perspectives that would contribute to agreements on what it takes to reduce stigma and discrimination.

Dr. Yitades Gebre, PAHO/WHO Representative to Suriname, said the theme of the dialogue is a reminder that every human life is of inestimable value. He expected the outcomes of the dialogue to create an environment that is inclusive and to provide options for bridging diversity, breaking down the barriers of stigma and discrimination and increasing involvement of treatment and prevention partners. Taking action on these issues is consistent with the PAHO/WHO goal for achieving Universal Access to Health for all.

Giving the keynote address, His Excellency Patrick Pengel, Minister of Health, Suriname and Chair of the PANCAP Executive Board stated that Suriname is pleased to host the dialogue. It is a country known for its liberal embrace of diversity. He reiterated the fact that Suriname joined other CARICOM Countries in supporting the 2016 UN High-Level Political Declaration aimed at ending HIV/AIDS by 2030 and that It is particularly committed to the UN 90-90-90 targets. He stressed the importance of partnerships and access to information to reduce stigma, hence the need to strengthen the health information systems, improve the continuum of healthcare and implementing policies reflecting equity in health and life circumstances. This requires compassion for all, commitment to principles that empower rather than marginalize and action that is inclusive and does not leave anyone behind. He advocated for human rights health desks as an important mechanism linking inter-religious networks and key populations. He stated that the dialogue hosted by PANCAP and bringing together Religious Leaders and representatives of key populations is applauded by the Government of Suriname

Colin Robinson gave the vote of thanks with the charge that participants “unpack the tools” needed to do the work: their faith, hopes, and biases.

Plenary Sessions on the Perspectives of Religious Leaders and Key Populations

The first two Plenary Sessions dealt with the complementary issues of the experiences of Religious Leaders and Key Populations. They more specifically dealt with gay, lesbian, bisexual, persons of trans experience and intersex persons, sex work experiences, young people and confronting the challenges of stigma and discrimination.

Among the major issues that emerged were: (a) the general experiences that require special attention by both Religious Leaders and Representatives of Key Populations and (b) the policies that promote inclusion of Key populations in the decision making process.

General Issues emerging from the dialogue between Religious Leaders and Key Populations

• The lived experience of people is at the heart of human sexuality and is a part of who people are.
• Where there is a conflict in matters of religion, philosophy, psychology, law, and human rights principles, it should be ensured that the latter is given consideration.
• In promoting health and well-being there is need to engage the religious community in better understanding of the critical issues of stigma and discrimination and the special challenges of key populations which include youth.
• Account must be taken that different populations/vulnerable groups overlap—e.g., LGBTI people may be people living in poverty; people with disabilities may be young people; people living with HIV may be elderly people.
• Trans persons presented a special case in relation to gender identity, as distinguished from sexual orientation.
• The importance of the Trans person’s relationship to God is not to be underestimated or disregarded.
• Tackling the major social determinants of health includes poverty which compounds the challenges faced by LGBTI and other Key populations with special reference to access, adherence, stigma, and discrimination.
• Need for the Religious Community to create spaces of hospitality that bring disparate groups together and create the basis for healing, compassion, love, and inclusion.

Four (4) Working Groups addressed specific issues relating to:

• Addressing gaps in treatment and prevention of HIV.
• Addressing determinants of Stigma and Discrimination and partnerships between religious groups and Key Populations in the solution
• Forging Partnerships between Religious Leaders, Parliamentarians and LGBTI towards achieving legislative reform, and
• Ways in which Religious Leaders and Members of Key Populations can appreciate each other’s positions and overcoming differences to achieve results of access to Public Health by key populations.
Issues arising from the discussion and for further consideration:
• Promote and implement policies for inclusion
• Recognize the voice and importance of PLHIV spearheaded by in-country CRN+ networks
• Identify those areas of common agreement and pursue policies with empathy
• Sex Workers “performing a service” and not “selling their bodies” as their human rights to earn a living.
• Reconsider the definition of Sex Work and engage in ongoing dialogue with Governments and sex workers to foster an enabling environment towards ending AIDS by 2030.
• Discuss the concept of Transgender within sacred scripture and theological constructs
• Take cognizance of information based on scientific evidence on human sexuality and sexual and gender diversity
• Incorporate the theological guidelines that ‘all human beings are made in the image of God’ and that ‘God Almighty dwells within all of us’
• Religious teachings may undergo changes based on interpretation and practice.

Religious Leaders Caucus focused on the need for ongoing dialogue and networking within and among religious communities and with members of key populations. Key Populations Caucus affirmed that strengthening Caribbean democracy and justice for all entails a commitment to the principle of including marginalized groups in a range of policy-making and governance, including representation in legislatures, political parties and at planning tables. It was affirmed that key populations and their interests deserve as much a place in governance as do religious representatives.

Recommendations for Constructive Dialogue between Religious Leaders and Key Populations

• Creating spaces of hospitality: “welcome of the strangers/the others in their otherness based on respect— e.g. community evangelism in the Dominican Republic”
• Establishing the basis for places of worship to give parents tools on Sexuality and incorporate holistic sexuality education into their programmes, including those for youth.
• Making every effort to reach marginalized populations, including advocating for and/or reasonable legislative changes, and seeking to cooperate in this venture.
• Establishing a national mechanism to address social and psychological approaches for dealing with the challenges affecting key populations.

Prayer and Worship

Members of the various religious communities were given opportunities to guide the assembly in moments of meditation, at the beginning and at the end of each day. Reflections were held on the basis of the respective religious traditions present at the consultation. This was an opportunity to engage the faith of the participants with the lived realities discussed within the consultation. This meditation set the tone of the conversations in the plenary, small groups and individual encounters. Through this interreligious approach, participants were able to learn more about one another’s faiths and could also begin to create a better understanding and respect for other faith and perspectives.

The Way Forward

Members of the Regional Consultative Steering Committee for the Implementation of Recommendations to End AIDS by 2030 will meet before the end of February to deliberate on the recommendations from this consultation. Specific focus will be on strengthening the religious networks in each territory and encouraging religious leaders to include representatives from key populations on the steering/management committees. It is anticipated that at least one consultation will be held in each territory in the next twelve to eighteen months. Recommendations from these consultations will be fed into another regional consultation of religious leaders and key populations in two to three years.


Religious Leaders and members of Key Populations worshipped God in joint services on the morning and afternoon of each day. This was to give thanks to God for mercies in making this dialogue possible and in providing a space for both groups to engage in this historic dialogue. We are therefore grateful to God for inspiration and guidance and to our partners locally in Suriname, regionally in CARICOM and PANCAP and globally, especially Global Fund for tangible assistance. To God be the glory.

Caribbean Strategy Meeting on Domestic and Innovative Financing for HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria

The following is a Call to Action which emanated from the three-day Caribbean Strategy Meeting on Domestic and Innovative Financing for HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The Developing Country NGO Delegation to the Global Fund Board (DCNGO) will convene a webinar with civil society organizations (CSOs) on the Call to Action on a date to be announced.  Please bookmark the PANCAP Current and Upcoming Events page for the date and time.

Tremendous progress has been made in the response to HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in the Caribbean. An estimated 310, 000 persons are living with HIV with Jamaica (10%), Cuba (8%), Dominican Republic (22%), Haiti (48%) and the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago (4%) accounting for 92% of the total disease burden at the end of 2016. New infections among children 0-14 years decreased by 44% from 1800 in 2000 to fewer than 1000 in 2016 and 55% reduction in AIDS-related deaths from 21,000 in 2000 to 9400 in 2016. The number of people accessing ARVs doubled in the last seven years with access among expectant mothers increased to over 90%. Much of this progress is due, in large part, to increased investments by stakeholders, including the private sector and government, greater involvement of civil society, strengthening of health and community systems, and a more coordinated approach among stakeholders to improve the health and well-being of all persons, including key and vulnerable populations across the Region.

The Caribbean has relied heavily on donor funding over the years to finance its response to the three diseases. However, dwindling resources and heavy dependence on foreign assistance negatively impact the Region’s ability to meet SDGs and national targets which will reverse gains in the response if Caribbean leaders do not continue to increase domestic investments.

More resources are needed to finance, sustain and scale up programmes for prevention, treatment, care, support and human rights as well as for gender equality across the Region towards ending the three diseases. The situation requires that additional attention be placed on efficient use of resources, including utilization as well as exploring new revenue sources. Mobilizing resources domestically is critical to this thrust. It is an imperative we cannot ignore given our shared responsibilities to improve the health outcomes and quality of life of people in the Caribbean.

We, representatives from non-governmental organisations, academia and government, call upon our leaders to undertake the following in partnership with us and in keeping with the 2016 UN High-Level Political Declaration HIV, UNAIDS Fast Track Initiative, the 2017 Latin America & Caribbean Call to Action for the Acceleration of HIV, and the Caribbean Strategic Framework on HIV/AIDS:

1. Increase the allocation of national health budgets each year over the next three years to the HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria response in order to fill the funding gaps which arise as a result of the reduction in donor funding;

2. Scale-up prevention, treatment, care and support as well as human rights and gender equality programmes for HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria;

3. Acknowledge the value-added of partnership with civil society and community systems and Implement the WHO recommendations to strengthen and sustainably support civil society’s role in the response through mechanisms such as subventions, social contracting and other forms of technical assistance and support;

4. Explore innovative financing approaches for health where HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria are prioritized;

5. Establish a regional funding mechanism that can/will attract support to mobilize, manage and disburse funds for country-level initiatives for the three diseases, including the strengthening of health and community systems and improvement of the human rights situation in countries;

6. Accelerate and/or strengthen the integration of the HIV response into primary health care to encourage better health-seeking behaviours and make services more accessible;

7. Minimize out of pocket payments (OPP) for medical expenses by accelerating, introducing and strengthening commitments to universal health coverage (UHC); introducing and/or strengthening National Health Insurance Schemes and include HIV services in the minimum package of services;

8. Honor commitments to implement activities per treaties and agreements related to the protection and promotion of human rights in partnership with civil society;

9. Engage development partners around the impact of upper middle-income country status on the availability and accessibility of donor funding as well as cost of services and commodities and advocate for the development and use of other criteria to determine eligibility for funding; and

10. Reaffirm commitments to SDG targets of increasing health financing while ending AIDS, TB and Malaria by 2030, towards meeting SDG targets and to ensure healthy lives and promoting well-being for all across the life cycle.

A Declaration of Commitment by PANCAP Champions for Change to contribute to fast track the end of AIDS in the Caribbean by 2030



We: the participants at the Forum to Relaunch the CARICOM/PANCAP Champions for Change Initiative including parliamentarians, policy makers, lawyers, healthcare practitioners, educators, religious leaders, artistes, sports and media personnel, youth, members of civil society including People Living with HIV (PLHIV), reaffirm our commitment to the goals of ending AIDS by 2030;

Noted with concern: the lapse since 2006 in the implementation of PANCAP Champions for Change Commitment initiated in St Kitts and Nevis on the occasion of the CARICOM/UK Conference, Reduce Stigma and Discrimination Against living with HIV/AIDS November 22-24, 2004. Among the outcomes were Champions for Change Conferences with specific Stakeholders:

• Representatives of Faith Based Organizations 22-23 November, 2005;
• Leaders of the print and electronic media, owners of the regional broadcasting media houses, freelance journalists, publishers, information and communication specialists, video and film producers, cultural and other artistes in Barbados, 7-9 December, 2006; and
• the establishment of the PANCAP Stigma and Discrimination Unit, 2009-2012;

Recognising the Caribbean’s advances in the response including increased access to antiretroviral treatment resulting in persons living longer;

Deeply concerned however that the Caribbean remains the second most affected region in the world and compounded by co-infection with Tuberculosis and increased burden from NCDs and other emerging diseases;

Convinced of the need to reinstate the Champions for Change Commitment given the scientific evidence that AIDS can be ended by accelerating actions to reduce stigma and discrimination and increase access to prevention and treatment;

Recognising that HIV transmission is preventable through individual behaviour, which is influenced positively or negatively by cultural, social, economic, political and legal systems.

Reaffirming our original and more recent commitments to accelerate the response to HIV made through:

• The Caribbean Partnership Agreement establishing PANCAP (2001)
• The UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS (2001)
• The Nassau Declaration: The Health of the Region is the Wealth of the Region (2001)
• CARICOM PANCAP Model Anti-Discrimination Legislation (2012)
• PANCAP Justice for All Roadmap (2014)
• 2030 The Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goal 3 Ensure healthy lives and promote the well-being for all ages (2015)
• The UN High-Level Political Declaration: Fast Tracking the Response to End AIDS by 2030 (2016)
• Caribbean Cooperation in Health IV (2016)

Note the recommendations related to the regional and international commitments in the Caribbean aimed at the contribution of stakeholders to ending AIDS by 2030 through the PANCAP Consultations with:
 Faith Leaders (in collaboration with UNAIDS and AIDS Healthcare Foundation) in Trinidad and Tobago, February, 2017;
 National AIDS Programme Managers and Key Partners, in Trinidad and Tobago, March, 2017;
 Youth Leaders (in collaboration with PAHO) in Trinidad and Tobago, April, 2017;
 Parliamentarians (in collaboration with UNDP) in Jamaica, May, 2017;

Support the recommendations of:

 The ‘Every Caribbean Woman Every Caribbean Child’ (CARIWAC) Initiative for reducing gender violence, teenage pregnancies and cervical cancer, and eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV and Syphilis;
 The Spouses of Caribbean Leaders Action Network (SCLAN) in championing the CARIWAC Initiative.

Acknowledge that it is the legal, moral and ethical responsibility of all states to meet their human rights obligations and protect the public health of all people.


We SOLEMNLY DECLARE as Champions for Change to pursue our obligations to positively contribute to the ending of the AIDS epidemic by 2030 in keeping with our regional and international commitments and to:

 promote TEST, TREAT and DEFEAT AIDS in keeping with UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets by 2020;

 advocate for access to affordable medicines and strengthening laboratory systems as a human right by 2020;

 also advocate for and support enactment of appropriate legislation, regulations and other measures to eliminate all forms of discrimination and to ensure the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms of persons living with, at risk and affected by HIV by 2020;

 further advocate for an enabling environment for all members of vulnerable communities including men who have sex with men, sex workers, persons who use drugs, girls and adolescents by 2020;

 advocate for the Caribbean to become the first region in the world to eliminate Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV and syphilis by 2020;

 promote taking AIDS out of isolation through an integrated health/multisectoral approach in keeping with SDG#3 by 2020;

 also promote the implementation of Universal Health Access in keeping with the WHO/PAHO (2016) and World Health Assembly (2017) Declarations by 2020;

 promote the recommendations of the CARICOM Council of Human and Social Development-Minister of Health (2015) to implement the PANCAP Justice for All Roadmap in short (2018), medium (2020) and long term (2030) phases;

 support the programme complementarity between PANCAP and CARPHA to accelerate the Caribbean response to ending AIDS by 2018;

 also support the Regional Faith Leaders Consultative Committee and the National Faith Leaders Networks to intensify their efforts to provide spiritual, psychosocial, economic and physical care for persons living with HIV and in their respectful dialogue with LGBTI by 2018;

 advocate for the sustained allocation of resources for civil society and faith based organisations to participate in overall programmes for testing, treating and reducing stigma and discrimination and particularly to reach underserved communities by 2018;

 implement and sustain measures to empower adolescents and young adults to protect themselves and their peers from risks of infections by 2018;

 include the elderly living with HIV who are particularly vulnerable to other infections by 2018;

 include persons with disabilities, especially those living with and affected by HIV;

 advocate for more rigorous collection, dissemination and analysis of data as effective sources for making informed policy decisions by 2018;

 promote all efforts at increasing access to prevention, through age appropriate sexual and reproductive health education, including the implementation of recommendations for the revised Health and Family Life Education (HFLE) curriculum by 2018.

Article III


We, the participants of the relaunched Champions for Change, recognising that AIDS is far from over:

Urge CARICOM Member States to collaborate with PANCAP and UNAIDS to establish mechanisms to document, monitor and evaluate instances of violation of human rights and facilitate periodic reviews of implementation of the commitments to end the AIDS epidemic;

Also urge Member States to provide adequate budgetary allocations for ending AIDS.

Further urge Member States to use their influence to lobby at international fora for resources, the removal of barriers and other impediments to end AIDS;

Charge the PANCAP Coordinating Unit (PCU), in collaboration with UNAIDS and other partners, to make provision for institutionalised support for Champions for Change to effectively sustain their advocacy and actions.

We, the participants of the relaunched Champions for Change resolve to realise the intent of this Declaration.

13 September 2017

Religious Leaders Consultation on Ending the AIDS Epidemic in the Caribbean

1-2 February 2017
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Theme: ‘Religious Leaders’ Contribution to the End of AIDS by 2030’
Consultation Communiqué

The Regional Consultation of Religious Leaders, convened at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad in Port of Spain, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago on 1 – 2 February 2017, brought together 55 Religious Leaders from 14 Caribbean countries, representing Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Baha’i and Voodoo religions, Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP), United Nations and regional officials. It was coordinated by the Planning Committee of Religious Leaders and PANCAP and focused on the theme, Religious Leaders’ Contribution to the End of AIDS by 2030.

The Context

Religious leaders affirmed the reality of God by invoking the divine presence prior to the beginning of each session. Leaders were mindful that our religious heritage positioned us to engage in discussions about faith, justice, love and peace, mindful that we are one family under God. At the opening ceremony, the Chair of the Conference Pastor Winston Mansingh, President, Faith Based Network of Trinidad and Tobago, outlined that the overarching objective of the consultation was to focus on the contributions that religious leaders can make towards ending the epidemic by 2030. The aims were to:

  • use the targets of the 2016 UN High Level Meeting Political Declaration as guidelines for action
  • agree on the role religious organizations can play to promote healthy living and well-being for all ages in the region
  • identify best practices which religious leaders can contribute to ending the AIDS epidemic
  • identify gaps to be filled in prevention;
  • identify types of regional cooperation to be undertaken among religious groups/organisations; and
  • identify resources required to facilitate implementation of recommendations.

Giving welcome addresses and remarks, The Hon. Ayanna Webster-Roy, Minister of State within the Office of the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago pointed to her country’s commitment at the highest level to the aims of the conference with the recent reinstatement of the National AIDS Coordinating Committee including representatives from religious organisations under the umbrella of the Prime Minister’s Office. Dr Edward Greene, United Nations Secretary-General Special Envoy for HIV in the Caribbean brought greetings on behalf of the Secretary-General and highlighted the imperatives for fast-tracking the response to AIDS. The issues reflected in the remarks of Dr Kevin Harvey, Regional Director of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), included the focus of AHF on strengthening partnerships with special reference to supporting a coordinated approach to the implementation of the recommendations from the consultation. Mr. Dereck Springer, Director of the PANCAP Coordinating Unit brought greetings on behalf of the CARICOM Secretary-General, expressed appreciation for the collaboration with The Global Fund and the support of AHF and UNAIDS. He reinforced the principles agreed to by the Conference Planning Committee of Religious Leaders as follows:

  • Enhancing family life and focusing on those in need
  • Increasing access to treatment and affordable medicines
  • Reducing gender inequality including violence against women, girls and adolescents
  • Promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights including age appropriate sexual education
  • Implementing legislative reforms for modifying AIDS-related stigma and discrimination

The Keynote and Feature Addresses: Two complementary visions for ending AIDS

In his Keynote address, Prof. Clive Landis, Deputy Principal, The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, identified the major scientific developments leading to the conclusion that anti-retroviral therapy (ART) delivers a life-saving benefit to persons living with HIV by abolishing end-stage AIDS. But the power of ART extends to a public prevention benefit as well. “Treatment as Prevention” is the scientific breakthrough of the decade showing that persons living with HIV who achieve viral suppression on ART are non-infectious. Hence, an important avenue to ending AIDS is removing societal barriers that stand between persons living with HIV and effective ART treatment. Everyone in society therefore has a rational self-interest in eliminating stigma and discrimination in order to create a supportive environment where people feel secure enough to know their status, to access ART medication and to achieve viral suppression. These attitudes will have the effect of lowering HIV viral load in the population and hence limit HIV transmission in society.

Rev. Phumzile Mabizela, Executive Director of International Network of Religious Leaders Living With of Personally Affected by HIV and AIDS (INERELA), giving an inspiring feature address shared her experience as a faith leader who is living with HIV. She encouraged religious leaders to see themselves as a positive force for change and advocates for removing policy and legislative barriers in order to effectively deal with HIV. She challenged participants to lead by example, to reclaim the dignity of sex and sexuality, and to view HIV as a justice issue to which religious leaders should appropriately respond by addressing the structural injustices that make people vulnerable. In this regard she identified six ‘evils’ that need to be addressed – Stigma, Shame, Denial, Discrimination, Inaction and Mis-action (SSDDIM). She urged participants to stand in solidarity with those affected by HIV.

The consultation also welcomed Dr Luiz Loures, Deputy Executive Director, UNAIDS who gave the closing address. He encouraged religious leaders to remain committed to the very bold recommendations. He pointed to his association with PANCAP from its inception and pleasure that it continues to be the glue around which creative ventures like this could galvanise the regions stakeholders including governments, NGOs, religious groups, private sector, youth, civil society and parliamentarians. He pledged UNAIDS’ continued support to the Caribbean partnership and pointed to the 2015 Memorandum of Understanding between UNAIDS and PANCAP aimed at collaborating in the venture to fast-track the end of the AIDS epidemic.

Perspectives of Religious Organisations on the prospects for ending AIDS

Three country presentations from Belize, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago illustrated some best practices to inform the dialogue within the working groups. They were complemented by a special session led by Dr Nyambura Njoroge, Programme Executive, World Council of Churches (WCC), on that organisation’s ecumenical campaign “Thursdays in Black: Toward a World without gender-based violence and rape.” A background paper on PANCAP pointed to best practices and together they formed a useful basis for dialogue around treatment as prevention within three working groups.


Two extended periods of working groups and discussions by religious and lay leaders resulted in the following actions:

  • Supporting the “Fast-Tract Targets” in the 2016 UN High Level Political Declaration to fast-track the end of the AIDS epidemic by 2030;
  • Promoting healthy living of people at all ages of the life cycle by placing emphasis on plugging the Prevention gaps that include stressing family values, age appropriate sexual education, and creative ways of communication and dissemination of information to reach various audiences;
  • Facilitating best practices through the process for effective support and leadership in the area of treatment and care;
  • Paying particular attention to actions that address the reduction of violence against women, girls and adolescents and the inclusion of men and boys in this venture;
  • Seeking to secure sustainable technical and financial resources for programmes led by religious groups through shared responsibility and collaboration with government and non-governmental stakeholders and development partners;
  • Exploring the short and medium actionable recommendations of the PANCAP Justice For All (JFA) Roadmap, especially in so far as they enable religious groups and organisations to effectively address the gaps in prevention and treatment interventions and continuing the dialogue on how to proceed with those elements yet to be resolved;
  • Establishing the foundations of a Network of Religious Leaders interconnected with national focal groups to achieve a more consolidated approach to ending AIDS with a mechanism for effective communication and dissemination of information;
  • Seeking to engage representatives of key populations including men who have sex with men, sex workers and injecting drug users and others in programmes aimed at identifying respective rights and responsibilities involved in the process toward the elimination of AIDS-related stigma and discrimination;
  • Noting areas of litigation that may challenge religious values and the responses required to harmonise principles and practices around human rights, human sexuality and human dignity.
  • Reach out to other FBOs who were not included in the discussion to get their feedback on the matters raised.

Next Steps

Religious Leaders agreed to:

  • Establish a Regional consultative group working virtually toward the implementation of the recommendations;
  • Discuss the recommendations for action with their national religious councils and provide a progress report to the regional consultative group by 1 July 2017;
  • Share information on activities initially using the PANCAP website;
  • Consider the possibility of follow up regional workshops, ‘think tanks’ and consultations.

Expressions of Gratitude

Commendations were extended to the Chair and Planning Committee, the Keynote and Featured Speakers, the PANCAP Coordinating Unit and collaborating partners, The Global Fund, AHF and UNAIDS, the media and the management and staff of the Hyatt Regency Trinidad.

We remain grateful to God for the vision provided religious leaders and other stakeholders for coming together in this fashion to deliberate on matters of faith and practices. As religious leaders, we are committed to the fight against HIV and AIDS and we are convinced that with God all things are possible in the march towards the realisation of our full humanity in God and with each other.

Timothy Austin
Communications Specialist
PANCAP Coordinating Unit | Knowledge for Health (K4Health)
CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen
Tel: (592) 222-0001-75, Extension 3409
Fax: (592) 222-0203

PANCAP – Knowledge For Health


The Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP) is a partnership of governmental and non-governmental bodies established in 2001 to facilitate a coordinated regional response to HIV/AIDS. It has a membership of 65 countries and organizations and is guided by a Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework (CRSF) on HIV and AIDS, which sets the parameters for collaboration between the PANCAP partners who work at all levels of the HIV/AIDS response.

PANCAP serves as a knowledge hub to support its members to improve the HIV response at the regional and national levels. In an environment of reduced international funding for HIV, global calls to transition to country ownership, and the global move towards the vision of and AIDS Free Generation it is critical for PANCAP to continue to provide strong coordination and collaboration to maintain the gains it has achieved across all partners and around common priorities and goals.

Knowledge for Health (K4HEALTH)

The Knowledge for Health (K4Health) PANCAP Project is an initiative to support the Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP) in its role as a regional coordinator and knowledge facilitator.

Funding for the K4Health PANCAP project is provided by The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through K4Health via a field buy-in by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Eastern and Southern Caribbean mission.

PANCAP Hosted Knowledge Synthesis and Best Practices Workshop to Build Capacity of Civil Society Organizations and National AIDS Programme Managers Within the Region

The Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV & AIDS, PANCAP,  hosted a three–day workshop (November 22 -24) in Port of Spain, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, on Knowledge Synthesis and Best Practices for over forty (40) leaders of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and National AIDS Programme (NAP) Managers in the Caribbean.  The Honourable Terrence Deyalsingh, as host Minister of Health, delivered the keynote address in which he stressed the critical importance of leadership and committed his support as a champion for the regional and global agenda for ending AIDS by the year 2030. He underscored his support for the WHO and UNAIDS initiatives – ‘Treat All’ (‘Test and Start’) and the ‘90-90-90’ targets aimed for the year 2020.

The workshop engaged participants in applying knowledge management tools to HIV programme implementation with particular regard to the ‘Treat All’ and the UNAIDS 90-90-90 goals.

The pivotal role of CSOs and NAP Managers play in the HIV response was affirmed. Stronger and more effective collaboration between these two stakeholders was fostered through a series of engaging knowledge management (KM) activities that allowed participants to share their success stories and best practices with each other.

CSOs and NAP Managers were equipped with the tools necessary for sustaining HIV responses through improving efficiency, effectiveness and implementation of key strategies. In addition, the workshop encouraged greater integration of CSOs into the national response thereby leveraging their comparative advantage of reaching key population groups.

The ‘Knowledge Café’, which allowed participants to engage in group discussions about topics affecting the implementation of HIV programmes, resonated with participants who viewed it as innovative. It provided an ideal environment for participants to learn about the successful initiatives implemented by CSOs and National AIDS programmes. Participants who required support to achieve greater success were able to generate a road map by discussing their challenges with those who have already crossed those hurdles.

The face-to-face discussion was ideal for solving specific challenges by applying existing knowledge and experience while supporting collective learning, linkages, networking and stimulating new perspectives and new lines of inquiry.

The three outcomes of the workshop were: a) renewal of commitment for the integration of CSOs into the national responses b) recognition of the comparative advantage of CSOs in reaching key population groups and c) improvement of relationships and enhanced collaboration between leaders of CSOs and NAP Managers.  It is expected that these three areas of success will result in more effective approaches in advocating for the sustainability of HIV programmes beyond donor funding.

Timothy Austin
Communications Specialist
PANCAP Coordinating Unit | Knowledge for Health (K4Health)
CARICOM Secretariat, Turkeyen
Tel: (592) 222-0001-75, Extension 3409
Fax: (592) 222-0203