|Government strengthens Territory’s response to HIV/AIDS|
The Ministry of Health and Social Development, in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organization Caribbean HIV Office (PHCO), convened a two-day meeting with health care workers from the public and private sectors to standardise the types of treatments available to persons living with HIV/AIDS, and to finalise a national strategic framework for HIV/AIDS in the Territory.
Senior officials from the Ministry of Health and Social Development and the team from the Pan American Health Organization Caribbean HIV Office (PHCO). (Photo Credit: Ministry of Health and Social Development)
The PHCO team, which is comprised of Dr. Noreen Jack, Dr. Claudette Francis and Sandra Jones, met with health care workers on February 10 to discuss the most effective treatment regimen and intervention strategies for persons living with HIV/AIDS in the Virgin Islands.
According to the Acting National AIDS Programme Coordinator, Noelene Levons-Clarke, the meeting meant that physicians, nurses, allied health care providers practising in the Virgin Islands and people living with HIV will be a part of the process of determining the type of treatment regimens that should be offered to persons accessing treatment within the Territory.
Clarke stated, “It also ensured that the care and treatment services provided are standardised and consistent no matter where the services are accessed.”
On February 11 the team convened with public officers and representatives from non-governmental organisations, faith-based and community-based organisations to finalise the Situation and Response Analysis of HIV/AIDS in the Virgin Islands. This analysis describes the current situation of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Territory and the local response.
The finalisation of the Situation and Response Analysis is the first step in the process of developing a national strategic plan for HIV and AIDS in the Territory.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Social Development, Petrona Davies stated, “Most Caribbean countries have already developed and implemented a National Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS and this has facilitated effective HIV prevention, treatment, care and support programmes, and has reduced the impact of the HIV epidemic.”
The national strategic plan for HIV/AIDS is a series of steps to purposefully guide the Territory in its response to the socio-economic and health effects of HIV on the community.
The Ministry of Health and Social Development endeavours to provide leadership that promotes health, social well-being and a safe environment.
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