A two-day HIV/AIDS workshop brought together local medical professionals, government staff, NGO’s, and private sector groups on Wednesday, 4 June and Thursday, 5 June.
Health Minister, Hon. Osbourne Bodden opened the workshop at the Hibiscus Conference Room located at the Health Services Authority. Meanwhile, Ministry of Health Chief Officer Jennifer Ahearn joined Medical Officer of Health Dr Kiran Kumar and various stakeholders, to review and make the recommended changes to the existing policy and develop an operational plan for the HIV and AIDS programme. The overarching goals of the workshop were to revise the policy in order to bring it in line with the international conventions and treaties, and to ensure the policy’s operational plans were developed to align with the C.I. National Health Policy and Plan (2012-2017).
The facilitator was Ms Nicola Taylor from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). Subjects discussed included the epidemiology of HIV here in the Cayman Islands, care and treatment, as well as policy, legislation and a broad scope of related topics. The group also revisited recommendations from a report entitled: A Situation Analysis of HIV/STIs in the Cayman Islands 1985-2010.
In his opening remarks Minister Bodden noted “While our HIV and AIDS numbers remain low, we must be reminded that because of stigmatisation, many persons do not get tested and therefore this could result in under reporting. As of March 2014 there were a total of 117 reported cases of HIV since the first case was diagnosed in 1985, 68 of these developed AIDS with 41 AIDS related deaths. Currently there are 76 people living with HIV in the Cayman Islands.”
The Ministry and its stakeholders remain committed to reducing HIV vulnerability in the Cayman Islands and ensuring that the country utilises a rights-based approach in its treatment of HIV/AIDS patients.
For further information contact: Yvette Cacho