Friday, June 25, 2010

HIV/AIDS fight needs closer collaboration among public and private sectors and civil society

HIV/AIDS fight needs closer collaboration:

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Friday June 25, 2010 - Guyana's Prime Minister Samuel Hinds has called for closer collaboration among public and private sectors and civil society in the fight against HIV/AIDS which continues to be a major public health challenge globally and in the Caribbean.

He made the call in his address at the 5th Pan Caribbean Business Coalition Forum on HIV/AIDS.

“We meet at a time when the determination to stop HIV/AIDS must be reinforced and not wane. Globally and in the world, more people living with HIV are receiving treatment,” Hinds said.

He noted that the region has been making progress, pointing out that 90 percent of persons living with HIV in the region are now receiving treatment; and there is also a dramatic reduction in HIV infection among pregnant women in many countries.

But Hinds cautioned that "encouraging signs like these ought not to be used as evidence for the region to ease their determination to fight HIV."

"The battle has not been won. We have earned the right to be optimistic, but we have still a deadly, dangerous scourge before us,” the Prime Minister said.

He said that the partnership of business is of critical importance and, as such, his country has created a strong workplace programme coordinated by the Ministry of Labour through technical support from the International Labour Organisation and funding from the United States Department of Labour.

To date, he said, that initiative has resulted in a mapping of workplaces with HIV/AIDS programmes, the formation of a national workplace policy document through the National Programme Committee, and labour officers being trained as peer educators.