Keeping Score: AIDS responses in the Caribbean
01 June 2007
To demonstrate commitments and progress made by countries in the Caribbean to addressing AIDS, and to highlight programming challenges , the CARICOM based Pan-Caribbean Partnership Against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) have launched a comprehensive report on national AIDS responses in the region.
For the first time ever, the report—Keeping Score: AIDS Responses in the Caribbean—provides a consolidated analysis of available data on key services being delivered to those in need throughout the region. The report analyzes data from 15 Caribbean nations in conjunction with the 2006 UN General Assembly High Level Meeting on AIDS.
Speaking at the publication launch, Director of UNAIDS Caribbean, Karen Sealey, stated, “Today marks another milestone in the Caribbean’s pursuit of demonstrating results towards the collective global goal of halting the spread of HIV.”
Keeping Score for the first time ever allows the region to see levels of performance across programme areas and across countries, towards meeting commitments made as part of the 2001 Political Declaration. The publication offers a crucial opportunity for those involved in national AIDS responses in the region to take stock of lessons learned in time for improved reporting and programming for reporting back in January 2008.
“We see achievements in many areas” Karen Sealey stated. “Responses have been expanded to include many sectors other than health. More funds are being mobilized. Programme reporting is strongest in the areas of treatment scale up and prevention of mother to child transmission.”
Keeping Score provides a quantitative and qualitative analysis of findings by indicator, across all 15 Caribbean reports. Key issues in the implementation and monitoring of national AIDS responses are reviewed and assessed.
However, Dr Sealey also added a cautionary note: “Data on prevention education programmes in general are very weak – more often than not we know numbers reached by various interventions, but we have no idea of coverage in terms of percentage of key populations reached, either by treatment or prevention programmes.”
After two decades, the Caribbean region ranks second in the world in terms of estimated prevalence of HIV infection, surpassed only by sub-Saharan Africa. At the end of 2006, an estimated 250,000 people were living with HIV in the Caribbean. Some 27,000 were newly infected during 2006. HIV infection rates average at 1.2% throughout the region, with the highest rates (2-4%) seen in The Bahamas, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago.
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