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New Caribbean Regional Framework for HIV/AIDS adopted

BELIZE CITY–Caribbean leaders have committed to a new agenda for battling HIV/AIDS in the post-2015 era. Dr. Marvin Manzanero, head of the Epidemiology Unit in the Belize Ministry of Health, said that regional officials have committed to the Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework (CRSF) 2014-2018, which has been formulated to address the HIV situation beyond 2015. The framework, he said, is a regional policy document and a planning tool, and it emphasizes equality in access to healthcare in the Caribbean.

Manzanero was among leaders and key decision-makers who recently met to strategize and to identify the actions needed to achieve the goals set out by the recently adopted framework, formulated under the auspices of the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP).

According to Manzanero, no special focus was given to discussing the issues surrounding the high incidence of HIV/AIDS within the homosexual community, although the framework looks at it broadly.

Manzanero said that countries will now take a look and see how applicable the framework is to their local settings.

At the recent Annual General Meeting of PANCAP, four key recommendations were made: Commissioning an analysis of regional laboratories; (2) conducting an assessment of the state of young people in relation to HIV; (3) accelerating the dialogue on the legal age of consent for access to health services and developing and implementing related policy; and (4) developing an investment strategy and pursuing an integrated approach to resource mobilization.

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