Priority Areas Coordinating Committee (PACC) convenes virtual meeting to discuss the continuity of HIV services during COVID-19

Wednesday, 24 June 2020 (PANCAP Coordinating Unit, CARICOM Secretariat): The Pan-Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP), the mechanism that provides a structured and unified approach to the Caribbean’s response to the HIV epidemic continues to examine strategies to sustain the HIV and AIDS response in the Caribbean region despite disruptions from the ongoing COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

The 39th Meeting of the Priority Areas Coordinating Committee (PACC), the PANCAP governance body that focuses on coordinating regional priority areas plans, was convened 23 – 24 June 2020 under the chairmanship of Dr Donald T. Simeon, Professor of Biostatistics and Research, Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

The PACC received updates from the Director, PANCAP, Dr Rosmond Adams on the work that the Partnership has implemented to respond to COVID-19 and sustaining the HIV response. Dr Adams stated that it is critical especially at this time to ensure the continuity of care in the region and to advocate for maintaining the gains as the Region works towards the UNAIDS 90-90-90 Targets and ending AIDS.

Dr Shanti Singh-Anthony, Coordinator, Knowledge Management, PANCAP Coordinating Unit, provided an update on the knowledge management, marketing and communications initiatives implemented by PANCAP in response to COVID-19.  She highlighted that the PANCAP Knowledge Management hub continues to share information and guidelines to support National AIDS Programmes and Civil Society Organizations in service delivery and mitigating the impact of COVID-19.

The PACC also received updates from the various Technical Working Groups (TWGs).  Ms Curvelle David, Senior Project Officer, Monitoring and Evaluation (M and E), Strategic Management Unit, CARICOM Secretariat, provided an update on the Regional M and E TWG on Health.  She emphasised the need to strengthen data collection and the use of information to guide strategic action to strengthen the regional response.

The meeting also received updates from the Policy and Strategy Working Group on Stigma and Discrimination.  Mr Lucien Govaard, Vice-Chair, outlined how the lessons learned from HIV and AIDS can be translated to supporting the COVID-19 response in tackling issues around stigma and discrimination.

Mr Kevin Mendez, Chair, PANCAP Regional Youth Advocacy Steering Committee for the implementation of Regional Youth Advocacy Framework on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights, reported on initiatives by youth leaders to engage the region’s young people on issues related to HIV and COVID-19.  The activities included capacity building and training on HIV prevention and supporting COVID-19 issues.

The meeting also received updates from key partners including the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and The University of the West Indies (UWI).

The PACC noted the challenges faced by the region including prevention services, treatment, care and human rights-based issues. The PACC committed to engaging with policymakers on support for the regional response, including increasing domestic funding for national HIV programmes.  The PACC also pledged support for documentation of the progress and best practices in the Region and to advocate for strengthening supply chain management to minimise interruption in the availability of antiretrovirals (ARVs) and other commodities for the Region.

The PACC also noted that safeguarding providers and clients from COVID-19 is critical and supporting safe and sustained HIV service must continue with a focus on Key Populations.

– ENDS –

Contact:

Timothy Austin

Senior Project Officer, Communications

PANCAP Coordinating Unit

CARICOM Secretariat

Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana

Email:      taustin.consultant@caricom.org

Tel: (592) 222-0001-75, Ext. 3409  | Visit www.PANCAP.org

Helpful links:

Global AIDS Update 2018 – Miles to Go

https://pancap.org/pancap-documents/global-aids-update-2018-miles-to-go/

Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework on HIV and AIDS (CRSF) 2019-2025 

https://pancap.org/pancap-documents/caribbean-regional-strategic-framework-2019-2025/

What is PANCAP?

PANCAP is a Caribbean regional partnership of governments, regional civil society organisations, regional institutions and organisations, bilateral and multilateral agencies and contributing donor partners which was established on 14 February 2001. PANCAP provides a structured and unified approach to the Caribbean’s response to the HIV epidemic, coordinates the response through the Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework on HIV and AIDS to maximise efficient use of resources and increase impact, mobilises resources and build capacity of partners.

Editor’s Notes

What are the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) 90-90-90 Targets?

  • By 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status.
  • By 2020, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy.
  • By 2020, 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.

NAP Managers and CSOs urged to use COVID-19 as an opportunity to advance the HIV gains for the Caribbean

Monday, 22 June 2020 (PANCAP Coordinating Unit, CARICOM Secretariat): The Pan-Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP), the mechanism that provides a structured and unified approach to the Caribbean’s response to the HIV epidemic,  convened a virtual three-day meeting of National AIDS Programme (NAP) Managers, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Key Partners, 16 – 18 June 2020 to discuss the challenges and strategies that are being implemented in the region to respond to the disruption of services posed by the ongoing COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic.

The meeting examined the challenges experienced by the region in the delivery of services for HIV and AIDS in the context of COVID-19, the sustainability of the regional response amidst decreasing donor funding and the critical role of civil society in supporting the continuity of care and reaching Key Populations.

Ms Victoria Nibarger, PEPFAR Coordinator, Caribbean Regional Program, Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator and Health Diplomacy (S/GAC), Jamaica stated that as the Region experiences unprecedented times with the COVID-19 pandemic, the NAP Managers and Key Partners Meeting is more important than ever, as it will enable the exchange of vital information and learning for the dual pandemics. She commended the PANCAP team for providing leadership at an incredibly challenging time.  She highlighted that this ability to adapt and forge ahead has been “truly impressive”.

In his remarks, Director of PANCAP, Dr Rosmond Adams highlighted the critical need for National AIDS Programme (NAP) Managers and Civil Society Organisations to share knowledge and innovations which are essential for the continuity of HIV services during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  He thanked the participants for committing to the meeting and stated that he was pleased that PANCAP could provide the virtual platform essential for knowledge sharing about HIV and COVID-19.  He further called for the exploration of new and innovative strategies and greater collaboration among governments, civil society, private sector and community-based organisations with the overarching aim of ending AIDS in the region.

The meeting received updates from Member Countries and Civil Society Organizations on the work that they are doing to respond to the disruptions and to sustain national responses. Ms Aldora Robinson, Director of the Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit within the Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Human Services, Turks and Caicos Islands and the National AIDS Programme Managers Representative on the PANCAP Governance Bodies stated that while these are unprecedented times, there are lessons learnt from the HIV response that can be applied to the COVID-19 response.

She underscored that the gains made in the HIV response could easily be reversed unless urgent efforts are made to sustain the progress made thus far. She stated, “while it may seem that we are at risk of losing momentum in the HIV and AIDS response let me assure you that if we continue to do what we have always done including sensitization of vulnerable groups, collation of statistics, instituting preventative measures, administering treatment, putting people at the centre and strongly engaging our civil society, we will get through this unpredictable and highly dynamic situation.”

The meeting encouraged countries to continue to manage health resources wisely considering the numerous challenges faced by the region and to push for increased domestic resources for health and HIV responses as we move to end AIDS as a public health threat. Countries were encouraged to strengthen multisectoral collaboration, implement sustainability plans and to increase the use of data to guide strategic actions that will advance towards the UNAIDS 90-90-90 Targets.

The PAHO Subregional Program Coordinator for the Caribbean, Ms Jessie Schutt-Aine underscored that the COVID-19 pandemic has created new challenges in the HIV and STI response. She stated, “COVID-19 has created unprecedented conditions that hinder the capacity of many health systems to access COVID-19 related supplies but also other essential medicines, due to country lockdowns, travel restrictions, fragmented funding sources, and increased costs for certain commodities.  A recent study done by PAHO’s Strategic Fund has found that many countries in the Caribbean region are at imminent or high risk of stock out of essential medicines for HIV, STI, TB and other essential medicines.  This calls for the need to strengthen supply chain systems, including forecasting in the region”.

She highlighted that PAHO in collaboration with CARICOM and in support of Member States has been focusing on pooled procurement for essential COVID-19 items.

Dr James Guwani, UNAIDS Caribbean Sub-regional Office Director, highlighted that HIV stakeholders bring to the COVID-19 challenge almost forty years’ worth of experience and wisdom in responding to a pandemic. He stated “this is what we know: Testing and treatment on their own will not ensure we combat either COVID-19 or HIV. Community involvement and investment are vital to building trust and getting results. There must be responsiveness to the lived realities, needs and vulnerabilities of all people, especially the most marginalised. And we have to embrace big, bold targets if we are to super-charge our response.

The role of Civil Society Organizations was also underscored as they play a critical role in working at the community level to reach those most in need and to attend to the psychosocial needs of People Living with HIV. Dr Adams noted that civil society is key at getting to the core of the epidemic and that they should be supported and must have an equal seat at the table as a vital stakeholder in the fight against HIV and AIDS. He reiterated the presentation made by Mr Ivan Cruickshank, Executive Directors, Caribbean Vulnerable Coalition (CVC) that civil society must not be an “add-on” but should be an integral part of the multisectoral response.

The PANCAP Director in closing the meeting reminded participants that the work will continue and must continue and that we should not allow COVID-19 to make us push the pause button but to be a reason for us to fast forward and push for progress in the region. He further emphasised that we cannot speak about regional health security if we do not work towards ending AIDS by ensuring that there is a strong regional response to HIV and other communicable diseases.

Mr Winfield Tannis, HIV and AIDS Advocate, lit a candle to recognise the work that has been done throughout the region and to pay tribute to those who have died from AIDS.  He also explained that the candle lighting was also meant to pay homage to those working in the field of HIV and AIDS and to encourage them to continue with efforts to achieve the 90-90-90 Targets and ending AIDS by 2030.

– ENDS –

Contact:

Timothy Austin

Senior Project Officer, Communications

PANCAP Coordinating Unit

CARICOM Secretariat

Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana

Email:      taustin.consultant@caricom.org

Tel: (592) 222-0001-75, Ext. 3409  | Visit www.PANCAP.org

Helpful links:

Global AIDS Update 2018 – Miles to Go

https://pancap.org/pancap-documents/global-aids-update-2018-miles-to-go/

Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework on HIV and AIDS (CRSF) 2019-2025

https://pancap.org/pancap-documents/caribbean-regional-strategic-framework-2019-2025/

What is PANCAP?

PANCAP is a Caribbean regional partnership of governments, regional civil society organisations, regional institutions and organisations, bilateral and multilateral agencies and contributing donor partners which was established on 14 February 2001. PANCAP provides a structured and unified approach to the Caribbean’s response to the HIV epidemic, coordinates the response through the Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework on HIV and AIDS to maximise efficient use of resources and increase impact, mobilises resources and build capacity of partners.

Editor’s Notes

What are the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) 90-90-90 Targets?

  • By 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status.
  • By 2020, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy.
  • By 2020, 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.

PANCAP advocates for treatment continuity for People Living with HIV during COVID-19 Pandemic

Friday, 24 April 2020 (PANCAP Coordinating Unit, CARICOM Secretariat): The Pan-Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP), the mechanism that provides a structured and unified approach to the Caribbean’s response to the HIV epidemic, urges partners and stakeholders to ensure the continuity of treatment, care and support services for People Living with HIV (PLHIV) during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

According to Dr Rosmond Adams, Director, PANCAP, the Pandemic threatens to undo the gains made in the last ten years of the Region’s HIV response. He further noted that any disruption to care and treatment could pose significant threats and create additional burdens for National HIV and AIDS Programmes and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) that work with PLHIV and key population groups.

Measures to combat COVID-19 such as quarantines, curfews and social distancing can reduce the number of working hours and disrupt services for programmes responding to HIV and AIDS.  National programmes and CSOs are urged to adopt measures to ensure the continuity of care and treatment and support for viral suppression among PLHIV and to help those who are at risk of HIV acquisition to remain HIV negative.

The PANCAP Director noted that appropriate precautions and mitigation strategies must be developed and implemented across all public health sectors to prevent potentially devastating outcomes. He recommended that the following measures should be explored and adopted where possible:

  • Promote the use of social media channels or boost existing platforms to disseminate HIV programme messages, including those related to COVID-19
  • Ensure uninterrupted supply of commodities such as condoms and lubricants at community distribution points, including the provision of multimonth dispensing to allow for less frequent pickups where stock allows and,
  • Rapidly scale up multimonth dispensing (MMD) of Antiretrovirals (ART) and other medications for clients for 3-6 months if stocks allow.

In addition, Dr Adams noted that we must keep a close watch on Gender-Based Violence and violence against vulnerable populations as the pandemic can lead to increases in violence within relationships; this situation is likely to be exacerbated by forced physical distancing, shelter-in-place measures and by economic distress caused by job losses that will harm the most vulnerable first.

Dr Adams also noted that we must ensure that CSOs are involved in providing the support required by PLHIV in accessing health services during the Pandemic. He commended the CSOs working in HIV and AIDS that have also joined the COVID-19 response and are working alongside National Authorities to scale up the quick and targeted response.

PANCAP also welcomes the assertion by the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) that “there is currently no direct evidence that people with HIV are at higher risk of COVID-19” and urges that all information shared about and with PLHIV should be based on empirical data.

PANCAP has commenced a multi-layered approach to the COVID-19 response.  This approach consists of a series of webinars aimed at building the capacity of National AIDS Programme Managers, CSOs, clinicians, doctors, youth leaders and other stakeholders in responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic.  PANCAP also initiated a public education programme to provide critical information to partners and stakeholders on COVID-19 guidance. It includes an interactive dashboard with data on the Caribbean and COVID-19 available on the PANCAP website, animated videos on COVID-19 prevention, digital posters on handwashing, advice on wearing masks and other essential information on combating COVID-19.  Materials can be accessed via the PANCAP website and social media platforms.

“PANCAP will continue to provide the support to National Programmes, CSOs and all stakeholders in the HIV response with initiatives that are community-led and based on human rights,” underscored Dr Adams. “It is critical that as we respond to COVID-19, we never lose sight of PANCAP’s vision of an AIDS-free Caribbean”.

–  ENDS –

Contact:
Timothy Austin
Senior Project Officer, Communications
PANCAP Coordinating Unit
CARICOM Secretariat
Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana
Email:      taustin.consultant@caricom.org
Tel: (592) 222-0001-06, Ext. 3409  | Visit www.PANCAP.org

Helpful links:

PEPFAR Technical Guidance in the Context of COVID-19 Pandemic

 https://pancap.org/pancap-documents/pepfar-technical-guidance-in-context-of-covid-19-pandemic/

 Rights in the time of COVID-19

 https://pancap.org/pancap-documents/rights-in-the-time-of-covid-19/

What is PANCAP?

PANCAP is a Caribbean regional partnership of governments, regional civil society organisations, regional institutions and organisations, bilateral and multilateral agencies and contributing donor partners which was established on 14 February 2001. PANCAP provides a structured and unified approach to the Caribbean’s response to the HIV epidemic, coordinates the response through the Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework on HIV and AIDS to maximise efficient use of resources and increase impact, mobilises resources and build capacity of partners.

Editor’s Notes

What are the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) 90-90-90 Targets?

  • By 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status.
  • By 2020, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy.
  • By 2020, 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.

New PANCAP Director Appointed

Wednesday 26 February 2020 (PANCAP Coordinating Unit, CARICOM Secretariat): The Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) welcomes the appointment of Dr Rosmond Adams as the new Director effective 2 March 2020.

 A Vincentian by birth, Dr Adams is a Medical Doctor by training and holds Master of Science degrees in both Public Health and Bioethics. He is a public health specialist with more than ten years of experience in the health sector both at the national and regional levels in the areas of surveillance, communicable diseases including HIV, emergency response and health security.

Dr Adams began his public health career as the Coordinator of the Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) programme in the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. He then served as the National Epidemiologist where his work focused on strengthening public health surveillance and strategic information to guide health policy, programmes and action.

In his previous post, he served as the Head of Health Information, Communicable Diseases and Emergency Response at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) where he led the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Caribbean Regional Health Security Strategy as a common strategic framework for the CARPHA Member States to strengthen their capacity to manage and respond to emerging disease threats and other public health emergencies.

Dr Adams serves on numerous national, regional and international public health advisory committees, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Coordinating Mechanism (GCM) on NCDs.  Asked about his immediate priority, the Director emphasised that the sustainability of the region’s HIV response is paramount.  “The HIV and AIDS epidemic is a threat to Regional Health Security considering that our productive population is being impacted,” stated Dr Adams, “I am optimistic that the region can end AIDS, but a lot of work must be done and the gains made so far must be sustained whilst ensuring that we scale up our response and renew our commitment to this goal”.

Dr Adams succeeds Mr Dereck Springer whose tenure ends on 28 February 2020.

 -ENDS –

What is PANCAP?

PANCAP is a Caribbean regional partnership of governments, regional civil society organisations, regional institutions and organisations, bilateral and multilateral agencies and contributing donor partners which was established on 14 February 2001. PANCAP provides a structured and unified approach to the Caribbean’s response to the HIV epidemic, coordinates the response through the Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework on HIV and AIDS to maximise efficient use of resources and increase impact, mobilises resources and build capacity of partners.

Contact:

Timothy Austin
Senior Project Officer, Communications
PANCAP Coordinating Unit
CARICOM Secretariat
Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana
Email:      taustin.consultant@caricom.org
Tel: (592) 222-0001-06, Ext. 3409  | Visit www.PANCAP.org

Helpful links:

History of PANCAP
https://pancap.org/who-we-are/about-pancap/history-of-pancap/

PANCAP’s achievements
https://pancap.org/who-we-are/about-pancap/achievements/

PANCAP’s Executive Board
https://pancap.org/who-we-are/governance-bodies/executive-board/

PANCAP Knowledge Exchange promotes successful models of care for key populations

Friday 14 February 2020 (PANCAP Coordinating Unit, CARICOM Secretariat): The Pan-Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP), the mechanism that provides a structured and unified approach to the Caribbean’s response to the HIV epidemic, has collaborated with the Integral Orientation and Research Center/Centro de Orientación e Investigación Integral (COIN) to facilitate a learning exchange focused on Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and successful HIV testing strategies for key populations to access prevention and treatment.  The capacity-building initiative will be held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic from 17-21 February 2020.  The two entities previously collaborated on a learning journey in June 2018.

The initiative is led by Dr Shanti Singh-Anthony, Knowledge Coordinator, PANCAP, who explained that the learning exchange was designed for participants to experience first-hand the process utilised by COIN to coordinate and collaborate with the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance, other civil society organisations and stakeholders to deliver comprehensive HIV services in communities and to key populations.

The learning exchange will also expose participants to components of a Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) programme, which serves as a highly effective prevention modality, and successful HIV testing and linkage strategies for key populations.

At the conclusion of the learning exchange, participants will be tasked with developing country-specific action plans to enhance in-country collaboration among civil society organisations and representatives of the national HIV programme to improve how key populations access prevention, testing and treatment.

Countries participating in the learning exchange are Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Participants will comprise country teams of National AIDS Programme Managers and civil society organisation (CSO) representatives. A total of ten persons from the six countries will participate and interact with representatives of the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance, Dominican Republic, COIN, and other CSO representatives.  Participants will also engage with the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance, National HIV response and community-based organisations through site visits to clinics and outreaches.

The learning exchange is supported with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

-ENDS –

What is PANCAP?

PANCAP is a Caribbean regional partnership of governments, regional civil society organisations, regional institutions and organisations, bilateral and multilateral agencies and contributing donor partners which was established on 14 February 2001. PANCAP provides a structured and unified approach to the Caribbean’s response to the HIV epidemic, coordinates the response through the Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework on HIV and AIDS to maximise efficient use of resources and increase impact, mobilises resources and build capacity of partners.

What is the Integral Orientation and Research Center/Centro de Orientación e Investigación Integral (COIN)?

The Integral Orientation and Research Center/Centro de Orientación e Investigación Integral (COIN) is a private, social interest institution of the Dominican Republic, created on November 28, 1988, by a multidisciplinary team of people with shared experience in community and health work.  Born as a result of the emergence of the HIV and AIDS epidemic and trafficking in persons in the Dominican Republic, COIN has concentrated its efforts on implementing educational programmes.

COIN’s programmes focus on prevention, health care and social discrimination.  The entity implements innovative strategies and approaches that serve to empower key populations. In their work with marginalized populations, COIN promotes the integration of the community in the identification of their needs and problems and works with them to define policies and execute solutions.  COIN currently operates in the Dominican Republic, Cuba and Haiti with 82 staff.

Contact:

Timothy Austin
Senior Project Officer, Communications
PANCAP Coordinating Unit
CARICOM Secretariat
Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana
Email:      taustin.consultant@caricom.org
Tel: (592) 222-0001-75, Ext. 3409  | Visit www.PANCAP.org

 

New Chair and Vice Chair Elected To PANCAP-CVC-COIN Technical Advisory Group For the Multi-Country Caribbean Global Fund Grant

Tuesday 28 January 2020 (PANCAP Coordinating Unit, CARICOM Secretariat): The Pan-Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP), the mechanism that provides a structured and unified approach to the Caribbean’s response to the HIV epidemic, extends congratulations to Mr Roger McLean and Dr Gail Gajadhar who were elected Chair and Vice-Chair respectively of the PANCAP-CVC-COIN Technical Advisory Group for the Multi-Country Caribbean Global Fund Grant QRA-H-CARICOM 1838 titled “Sustainability of services for Key Populations in the Caribbean”.

Mr McLean is a Research Fellow/Lecturer HEU, the Centre for Health Economics, Faculty of Social Sciences, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.   Dr Gajadhar is the Senior Medical Officer, Infectious Diseases Unit, The Department of Health and Wellness in Saint Lucia.

The Technical Advisory Group (TAG) is a regional, multi-sectoral body with a mandate to provide oversight to the PANCAP/CVC/COIN Global Fund Grant. That oversight includes ensuring that the implementation of the grant is focused, efficient and flexible, i.e. the TAG ensures that the execution is focused on the right activities, for the right populations and in the right places, in accordance with the performance framework of the PANCAP/CVC/COIN Global Fund Grant.  The TAG also ensures that there is efficient use of available resources.

In addition to the election of the new Chair and Vice-Chair, the TAG conducted an orientation of members on governance, oversight functions, management of conflicts of interest, and internal and external communication as well as a reviewing and endorsing of its oversight role and communications plan.

The success of the grant is critical to the Region achieving the 90-90-90 Targets as its objectives are aligned with PANCAP’s vision of an AIDS-free Caribbean.

What is PANCAP?

PANCAP is a Caribbean regional partnership of governments, regional civil society organisations, regional institutions and organisations, bilateral and multilateral agencies and contributing donor partners which was established on 14 February 2001. PANCAP provides a structured and unified approach to the Caribbean’s response to the HIV epidemic, coordinates the response through the Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework on HIV and AIDS to maximise efficient use of resources and increase impact, mobilises resources and build capacity of partners.

Editor’s Notes

TAG Membership

The TAG consists of representatives from PANCAP including the PANCAP Priority Areas Coordinating Committee (PACC), Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC), and El Centro de Orientación e Investigación Integral (COIN) as grant owners; representatives from key population networks including recognised networks of Persons Living with HIV (PLHIV), Men who have Sex with Men (MSM), Transgender persons (TRANS), Sex Workers (SW), vulnerable youth and people who use drugs. Technical & implementing partners include the Caribbean Med Labs Foundation (CMLF), University of the West Indies – HIV and AIDS Response Programme (UWI-HARP), Faculty of Law, University of the West Indies Rights Advocacy Project (URAP), Regional Body Representing Faith-Based Organisations; Principal Recipient, CARICOM, representatives of the CCMs of each project country (Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago). The TAG also includes Ex-office executives from PANCAP, CVC and COIN and three observers from UN/Multilateral Agencies/International Development Partners including UNAIDS, PEPFAR and UNDP.

Contact:

Timothy Austin
Senior Project Officer, Communications
PANCAP Coordinating Unit
CARICOM Secretariat
Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana
Email:      taustin.consultant@caricom.org
Tel: (592) 222-0001-75, Ext. 3409  | Visit www.PANCAP.org

Helpful links:

Multi-Country Caribbean Global Fund Grant QRA-H-CARICOM 1838 “Sustainability of services for Key Populations in the Caribbean – project page

https://pancap.org/pancap-work/multi-country-caribbean-global-fund-grant-qra-h-caricom-1838-sustainability-of-services-for-key-populations-in-the-caribbean/

PANCAP-CVC-COIN awarded Multi-country Caribbean Global Fund Grant

https://pancap.org/pancap-releases/pancap-cvc-coin-awarded-multi-country-caribbean-global-fund-grant/

Global AIDS Update 2018 – Miles to Go:

https://pancap.org/pancap-documents/global-aids-update-2018-miles-to-go/

Guyana to host first meeting of PANCAP-CVC-COIN Technical Advisory Group for the Multi-Country Caribbean Global Fund Grant

Wednesday 15 January 2020 (PANCAP Coordinating Unit, CARICOM Secretariat): The Pan-Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP), the mechanism that provides a structured and unified approach to the Caribbean’s response to the HIV epidemic, will host the first meeting of the PANCAP-CVC-COIN Technical Advisory Group for the Multi-Country Caribbean Global Fund Grant QRA-H-CARICOM 1838 titled “Sustainability of services for Key Populations in the Caribbean,” on 28 January 2020 at the CARICOM Secretariat, Georgetown, Guyana.

The US$6.5 Million grant commenced on 1 October 2019. The purpose of the grant is to provide sustainable HIV prevention, treatment and care services for key populations in the Caribbean Region including Men who have sex with men (MSM), Sex workers and Transgender people who are direct beneficiaries of the grant which will be shared by ten countries including Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

The Technical Advisory Group (TAG) is a regional, multi-sectoral body with a mandate to provide oversight to the PANCAP/CVC/COIN Global Fund Grant. That oversight includes ensuring that the implementation of the grant is focused, efficient and flexible, i.e. the TAG ensures that the execution is focused on the right activities, for the right populations and in the right places, in accordance with the performance framework of the PANCAP/CVC/COIN Global Fund Grant.  The TAG also ensures that there is efficient use of available resources.

According to Director of PANCAP, Dereck Springer, the upcoming meeting will provide TAG members with the opportunity to be oriented to the governance of the TAG, updated on the management of the grant and the implementation of activities including programmatic updates and information on disbursements.  “Members will also elect a Chair and Vice-Chair who will be responsible for ensuring that the TAG fulfils its mandate,” stated the Director, “bold and decisive leadership is needed to ensure that the implementation of the grant adequately addresses the sustainability of services for key populations”.  The Director further underscored that the success of the grant is crucial to the Region’s HIV response as it aligns with PANCAP’s vision of an AIDS-free Caribbean, one in which Caribbean people are empowered to fulfil their potential and live happy, healthy and peaceful lives.

-ENDS –

What is PANCAP?

PANCAP is a Caribbean regional partnership of governments, regional civil society organisations, regional institutions and organisations, bilateral and multilateral agencies and contributing donor partners which was established on 14 February 2001. PANCAP provides a structured and unified approach to the Caribbean’s response to the HIV epidemic, coordinates the response through the Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework on HIV and AIDS to maximise efficient use of resources and increase impact, mobilises resources and build capacity of partners.

Editor’s Notes

TAG Membership

The TAG consists of representatives from PANCAP including the PANCAP Priority Areas Coordinating Committee (PACC), Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC), and El Centro de Orientación e Investigación Integral (COIN) as grant owners; representatives from key population networks including recognised networks of Persons Living with HIV (PLHIV), Men who have sex with men (MSM), Transgender persons (TRANS), Sex Workers (SW), vulnerable youth and people who use drugs. Technical & implementing partners include the Caribbean Med Labs Foundation (CMLF), University of the West Indies – HIV and AIDS Response Programme (UWI-HARP), Faculty of Law, University of the West Indies Rights Advocacy Project (URAP), Regional Body Representing Faith-Based Organisations; Principal Recipient, CARICOM, representatives of the CCMs of each project country (Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago). The TAG also includes Ex-office executives from PANCAP, CVC and COIN and three observers from UN/Multilateral Agencies/International Development Partners including UNAIDS, PEPFAR and UNDP.

Contact:

Timothy Austin
Senior Project Officer, Communications
PANCAP Coordinating Unit
CARICOM Secretariat
Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana
Email:      taustin.consultant@caricom.org
Tel: (592) 222-0001-75, Ext. 3409  | Visit www.PANCAP.org

Helpful links:

  • Multi-Country Caribbean Global Fund Grant QRA-H-CARICOM 1838 “Sustainability of services for Key Populations in the Caribbean – project page

https://pancap.org/pancap-work/multi-country-caribbean-global-fund-grant-qra-h-caricom-1838-sustainability-of-services-for-key-populations-in-the-caribbean/

  • PANCAP-CVC-COIN awarded Multi-country Caribbean Global Fund Grant

https://pancap.org/pancap-releases/pancap-cvc-coin-awarded-multi-country-caribbean-global-fund-grant/

  • Global AIDS Update 2018 – Miles to Go:

https://pancap.org/pancap-documents/global-aids-update-2018-miles-to-go/

PANCAP fully endorses PrEP

The Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) fully endorses the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommendation that Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) be offered to all population groups at substantial risk of becoming infected with HIV in order to prevent the acquisition of HIV.

The WHO defines oral Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) of HIV infection as the use of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs by people who do not have HIV infection in order to prevent the acquisition of HIV.  PrEP is considered a key prevention modality and should be an additional prevention choice in a comprehensive package of services that also includes HIV testing, screening and management of sexually transmitted infections, counselling, male and female condoms, lubricants, ARV treatment for partners with HIV infection, voluntary medical male circumcision and harm reduction interventions for people who use drugs.

PANCAP has defined as a key strategy within Strategic Priority Area 4 of the Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework on HIV and AIDS (CRSF) 2019-2025,  “Implement targeted policies and strategies to deliver high impact interventions such as PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis), PrEP, HIV self-testing, index testing, STI and viral hepatitis prevention and diagnosis within a HIV combination prevention approach.” This Framework was endorsed by Ministers of Health at the 37th Meeting of the Council of Human and Social Development (COHSOD) – Health, which was held on 27-28 September 2019 in Washington, D.C., USA. COHSOD encouraged member states to align their National Strategic Plans to this framework and support its implementation.

In the English-speaking Caribbean, The Bahamas and Barbados have developed and implemented PrEP programmes. In both cases, this was done in close collaboration with civil society organisations and in the case of The Bahamas, with the private health sector. Both countries have at least 18 months of implementation experience and have been sharing lessons learned that are beneficial and can potentially be applied in other Caribbean countries. In August 2019 the Ministry of Public Health Guyana trained health care professionals within the private sector to implement PrEP, following which implementation began through a Private Sector – Civil Society Partnership. Other countries in the Caribbean are poised to implement PrEP following the PANCAP PrEP Share Fair which was held in Barbados in August 2019 at which participating countries developed action plans for rolling out this initiative.

On the 14 February 2001, Heads of Government through a Declaration of Commitment launched PANCAP and called on all Heads and all partners to make a solemn commitment towards ensuring that good public policies are adopted across all sectors to create a supportive environment for prevention of HIV transmission and for mitigating the impact of the epidemic. Cognisant of the effectiveness of PrEP in preventing HIV transmission within an HIV combination prevention approach, PANCAP urges member states to implement PrEP.

– ENDS –

What is PANCAP?

PANCAP is a Caribbean regional partnership of governments, regional civil society organisations, regional institutions and organisations, bilateral and multilateral agencies and contributing donor partners which was established on 14 February 2001. PANCAP provides a structured and unified approach to the Caribbean’s response to the HIV epidemic, coordinates the response through the Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework on HIV and AIDS to maximise efficient use of resources and increase impact, mobilises resources and build capacity of partners.

PANCAP welcomes Winnie Byanyima, new UNAIDS Executive Director

The Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) extends a warm welcome to Ms Winnie Byanyima, as she begins her tenure as UNAIDS Executive Director.

Since its inception, UNAIDS has collaborated with regional and national partners to achieve epidemic control and remains a valued partner in the HIV response. The Partnership acknowledges Ms Byanyima’s wealth of experience working with governments, multilateral agencies, the private sector and civil society whose comparative advantage she can now leverage  for the multisectoral response to HIV at the global, regional and national level.

We look forward to further strengthening our relationship with UNAIDS and working collaboratively with Ms Byanyima to achieve the UNAIDS Fast Track Targets 90-90-90 and ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.

We wish Winnie every success in her new role and assure her of the Partnership’s support.

What is PANCAP?

PANCAP is a Caribbean regional partnership of governments, regional civil society organisations, regional institutions and organisations, bilateral and multilateral agencies and contributing donor partners which was established on 14 February 2001. PANCAP provides a structured and unified approach to the Caribbean’s response to the HIV epidemic, coordinates the response through the Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework on HIV and AIDS to maximise efficient use of resources and increase impact, mobilises resources and build capacity of partners.

Region to host First Caribbean Congress on Adolescent and Youth Health

Friday 4 October 2019 (First Caribbean Congress on Adolescent and Youth Health):  Young people[1]/have been identified as critical to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including SDG 3 – Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages. The SDGs’ agenda and the Global Strategy for the health of Women, Children and Adolescent (GSWCAH, 2016 – 2030)[2]/ bring new commitments and mandates that directly affect the positioning of young people in the global and regional health and development agenda.

According to 2015 estimates, there are 10.8 million young people (10-24 years) in the Caribbean, representing 25% of the total population, and 7.2 million adolescents (10-19 years), representing 17% of the total population. The Region continues to recognise the disparities in the burden of poverty, underemployment and unemployment, secondary school enrolment and completion rates, as well as the financial and societal barriers young people face to access health information and quality health services that respond to their needs. Additionally, there are especially vulnerable youth who face additional levels of marginalisation, such as adolescents with disabilities, HIV positive youth, migrant and socially-displaced adolescents, and those who identify along the LGBTQI spectrum.

It is against this backdrop that the Region will host the first Caribbean Congress on Adolescent and Youth Health in Port-of-Spain, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago on 15 – 17 October 2019.  The theme of the Congress is  “Championing our wealth: promoting the health and well-being of adolescents and youth in the Caribbean.”

Her Excellency Paula-Mae Weekes ORTT, President of Trinidad and Tobago will be the feature speaker.  Ms Kim Simplis-Barrow, First Lady of Belize and Chair, Spouses of CARICOM Leaders Action Network (SCLAN), Hon. Terrence Deyalsingh, Minister of Health, Trinidad and Tobago,
Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, CARICOM Secretary-General and Dr Carissa F. Etienne, PAHO Director are expected to deliver remarks during the opening ceremony on 14 October 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad, Port-of-Spain.

The congress which is organised by a consortium of regional partners, including youth leaders, is expected to increase awareness on issues that are negatively affecting the health and well-being of adolescent and youth in the Caribbean. It is anticipated that the Congress will help to mobilise greater investment for the promotion and protection of the health and well-being of all adolescents and young people in the Caribbean.

Approximately two hundred participants are expected to attend including youth from around the Caribbean, CARICOM Youth Ambassadors, youth from within key populations, youth development leaders,  public health leaders, social activists, and regional civil society representatives.

The congress is structured to ensure that the voices and concerns of youth in the region are heard through their active participation as organisers of special sessions, moderators, and panellists. The congress will also encompass building the capacity of youths to advocate for issues related to adolescent and youth health at the regional and country-level through increased knowledge and awareness of current best practices, new tools and skill sets applicable to the region.

The Congress is expected to result in regional commitment from participants on a vision and core principles to address the health needs of adolescents and youth ages 10 – 24 years in the Caribbean, as well as action plans based on current and emerging priorities for adolescent and youth health.

The event will serve as an impetus for policymakers to begin the discussion on how to improve and sustain investments in the health and well-being of adolescents and youth in the Caribbean.

– ENDS –

Contact:
Timothy Austin
Communications Specialist
PANCAP Coordinating Unit
CARICOM Secretariat
Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, Guyana
Email:      taustin.consultant@caricom.org
Tel: (592) 222-0001-75, Ext. 3409  | Visit www.PANCAP.org

Helpful links:

Editor’s notes

Partners

A consortium of regional partners has collaborated to plan and support the Caribbean Congress on Adolescent and Youth Health. These include the Caribbean Association for Adolescent Health, International Association for Adolescent Health, Caribbean Institute for Health Research, Caribbean Development Bank, Caribbean Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Health, Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health and Sustainable Development’s Youth Campaign, PANCAP Youth Advocacy Network, Caribbean Regional Youth Council, NCD Child, Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), CARICOM Youth Department, Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP), Commonwealth Youth Council, Spouses of CARICOM Leaders Action Network (SCLAN), Dance4Life Barbados, CARICOM Youth Ambassador Corps, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Family Planning Association of Trinidad and Tobago (FPATT), International Planned Parenthood Federation/WHR,United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC).


[1]/     Youth or being young refers to the period from childhood to adulthood. Definitions of a specific age range vary as youth is not defined chronologically. For statistical purposes, the age range used is primarily 15-24 years but countries in the Caribbean apply various ranges from 10-35 years old.
[2]/         The preparation of the Strategy was facilitated by Every Woman Every Child, a multistakeholder Strategy and Coordination Group facilitated by the Executive Office of the United Nations Secretary-General.