GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Jun 24 2017 – The Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) has praised Barbados over its efforts towards ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic on the island by 2030.
PANCAP, a Caribbean regional partnership of governments, regional civil society organisations, regional institutions and organisations, established in 2001, said the Barbados government and in particular the Ladymeade Reference Unit (LRU) had been providing services to Caribbean nationals over the past 15 years.
“It cannot be overstated how critical the role of the LRU has been to People Living with HIV in Barbados and other Caribbean countries,” said PANCAP director, Dereck Springer.
PANCAP said it also wanted to acknowledge the significant achievement of initiation of the ‘Treat All’ programme by the Barbados, noting that in 2016, the island adopted the World Health Organization (WHO) “Treat All” approach to HIV care.
“This meant that all HIV positive persons are now eligible for lifelong therapy, irrespective of their HIV disease stage,” PANCAP said, noting that the implementation of this approach is crucial to helping Barbados achieve the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets by 2020.
Springer said that it was also important for other laboratories and medical institutions in the Caribbean which lacked capacity to perform vital tests for monitoring patients with HIV, to look towards the LRU which has become an essential resource for providing those services.
‘The LRU allows access by other regional medical institutions to their wide array of laboratory testing for monitoring patients with HIV and expertise,’ Springer said, adding “‘the contribution it has made to the implementation of ‘Treat All’ and improving treatment outcomes for People Living with HIV is immeasurable’.
The LRU will officially observe the 15-year anniversary with a series of events commencing on June 26.
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