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Thursday, 01 December 2016 06:57

Renewed emphasis to be placed on HIV prevention Featured

Director of the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP), Dereck Springer,   in a message to observe World AIDS Day 2016, called for ‘renewed emphasis to be placed on HIV prevention education among youth.

He made the call also for “evidence informed strategies to enable [youth] to protect themselves from HIV.

Hands up for #HIV prevention is the theme of World AIDS Day 2016. The Director noted that the theme called “attention to the crucial need … to refocus efforts on combination prevention that includes treatment, behavior change communication, access to condoms and provision of social protection to address individuals’ vulnerability”.

Emphasising the need for a collaborative cross-sectoral approach to address the underlying causes of vulnerability and risk, poverty, inequality and social exclusion, he said “ “there is an urgent need to collaborate with all sectors including human services, social protection and education…”

Pointing out that despite the many successes of PANCAP, stigma and discrimination remained barriers to individuals’ access to prevention services, the Director informed that PANCAP is using its Justice for All Programme to affirm the human rights of all and to advocate for reducing stigma and eliminating discrimination.

Alluding to other interventions such as the   PANCAP Knowledge for Health (K4Health) project,   the Director believes that the synergies between the JFA programme and other efforts would increase the number of persons from key population groups coming forward to access prevention, treatment, care and support services.

The PANCAP K4Health project uses social media to promote messages on condom use, abstinence and other suggested prevention methods from policymakers, key Civil Society Organizations, health care professionals and other influential groups.

Referring to the project, the Director explained “the objective is to reach the young generation...”. “We believe they are a key population in urgent need of more prevention education; and through our K4Health project, and in keeping with the World AIDS Day challenge issued by UNAIDS, we coordinated a series of concise and strong messages emphasizing HIV prevention tools to be promoted on PANCAP platforms and to be utilized by our partners and stakeholders to educate their respective groups and circles of influence’, the Director continued.

The overarching aim of the PANCAP World AIDS Day social media awareness initiative is to inspire PANCAP’s network of civil society organizations, partners, stakeholders and all organizations and individuals involved in health care to propagate messages related to HIV prevention among key populations.

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