Statements and Webcast
Saint Kitts and Nevis
(on behalf of CARICOM)
H.E. Dr. Denzil Douglas, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Sustainable Development and Human Resource Development
8 June 2011
- Statement: English (Check against delivery)
DENZIL L. DOUGLAS, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance for St. Kitts and Nevis, speaking on behalf of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), said the conference held ten years ago catalysed bold steps, including the Global Fund for HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. HIV/AIDS, a disease that once seemed to strike a death knell for those infected, was now being addressed through the dedicated work of natural and behavioural scientists, philanthropists and non-governmental organizations, and leadership at national and global levels. The application of behaviour change through social marketing interventions had contributed in no small measure to arresting the spread of HIV.
He said the members of CARICOM and the Pan-Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS had always played a very active role in the global process to combat HIV, as the region had the highest prevalence of infections after sub-Saharan Africa. As was enunciated through the Nassau Declaration, “the health of the region was the wealth of the region”, and the Caribbean region held out the hope of being among the first groups of countries to achieve universal access to treatment. The UNAIDS score card on universal access 2010 demonstrated that much progress had been made in the region, with a stabilization of the prevalence rate and a decline in new infections. Still, an estimated 17,000 persons in the Caribbean region became infected with HIV in 2009. Transmission rates among key populations were increasing, and women and girls outnumbered men and boys among people living with HIV. Universal access must be provided for HIV prevention, treatment care, and support. Emphasis must be placed on securing long-term and sustainable financing, without which reversal of the marginal gains made over the past decade was inevitable. The international community must work collectively to achieve the targets in the interest of humanity, those living with the disease and those yet to be born.