The Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) Regional Parliamentarians Forum, 30 – 31 May, Kingston, Jamaica, commenced with a stirring keynote address by the Hon. Delroy Chuck, Minister of Justice, Jamaica. Minister Chuck addressed the need for parliamentarians to engage in more advocacy for People Living with and Affected by HIV and AIDS at the policymaking level.
‘We, the parliamentarians need to act as advocates for people affected by HIV’, stated Minister Chuck, ‘we need to engage with all stakeholders, including the faith-based organizations to rethink some of the beliefs that isolate the key populations which are most affected by HIV transmission. We, the parliamentarians have an obligation to lead the way in protecting the weak and vulnerable’.
The Jamaican Minister of Justice underscored the high prevalence of HIV transmission among men who have sex with men (MSM), ‘the high prevalence of HIV among this key population is very alarming and we must rethink how we deal with this key population. The continued spread of HIV within any population is a threat to public health. We must be cognizant of this and take urgent action. Parliaments must prioritise reducing stigma and discrimination toward people most vulnerable to HIV transmission’.
Selected key population leaders from the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC), Caribbean Forum for Liberation and Acceptance of Genders and Sexualities (CariFLAGS), Caribbean Sex Work Coalition (CSWC), the Caribbean Network of People Living with HIV (CRN+) and UN partners also attended the Forum. Read more via St Lucia Times