Caribbean countries to benefit from US AIDS plan

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Wednesday April 28, 2010 – Seven Caribbean countries will benefit from a US$100 million financial package, designed to undertake HIV/AIDS projects.

The five-year US President’s strategic framework signed by Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines aims to chart a path for sustained support in the fight against HIV and AIDS.  

The main areas of focus of the agreement are: HIV/AIDS prevention, laboratory strengthening, human capacity development, sustainability and strategic information/data gathering and analysis. 

Grenada’s Health Minister Ann Peters said the overall project goal is to reduce the incidents and prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean region. “It’s also to build the capacity of national governments to develop and maintain sustainable, comprehensive and effective national HIV/AIDS programmes,” she added.

Fund for project implementation will be made available in June. 

The US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, also known as PEPFAR, is America’s initiative to combat the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. In his State of the Union Address in January 2003, President George W Bush made a commitment to substantially increase US support for addressing HIV/AIDS worldwide.