Providenciales, 01 Dec 2014 (TCIG Press Release) – As the Turks & Caicos Islands (TCI) observe World AIDS Day on Monday, 1st December with the rest of the world, it is a time to remember loved ones and friends that have passed on. It is also a time to pause and reflect not only on persons presently living with HIV but, on ourselves as individuals. Have our lives impacted someone living with HIV in a positive way? What are we doing if anything and how can we do it better. Achieving an AIDS-free Turks and Caicos as resources for HIV shrink, requires strategic action at both the local and national levels.
We must find the resources to sustain prevention programmes, increase access to services for key populations, while we scale up and expand treatment and care programmes and also meet the needs of our ageing population of people living with HIV.
National AIDS Program Coordinator, Mrs. Aldora Robinson stated; “This year’s theme “take a stand, I stand, we stand for Zero new infections, Zero Deaths, Zero discrimination did you stand?” encourages everyone to stand, it is important that we do. We must ask ourselves what is my organization doing concerning HIV, what is my role. What is my church doing? How do I get involved? What is my civic group doing am I doing my part, anyone in business thinks about profit, for all of us in the business of HIV/STI prevention, profit is an AIDS free TCI.
“Priorities for the TCI for the next year and beyond is a people-centred approach that promotes the welfare and well-being of people ensuring that we meet the 90% of persons in country tested for HIV and know their status, 90% of persons who test positive are linked to care and 90% of persons on treatment viral loads are undetectable. We are also focusing on eliminating Mother To Child Transmission of HIV and Syphilis, a men’s health strategy, the prison population, sex workers. We hope to develop targeted interventions for the key populations mentioned. So, let us take a stand.”
Minister for Health and Human Services, Hon. Porsha Stubbs-Smith added; “As a nation, we have recognized how far we have come, and acknowledge the lengths we still must travel. I would like to applaud the National HIV Prevention Unit on the work that they have done thus far. We must continue the fight together by reducing the acquisition and transmission of HIV within our Beautiful by Nature, Turks & Caicos Islands.