Pan-Caribbean HIV/AIDS Advocacy Group Conducting Workshops To Combat Stigma in Region, Commentary Says
The Pan-Caribbean Partnership Against HIV/AIDS recently has been conducting workshops in Caribbean countries with the aim of reducing stigma and discrimination related to the disease, columnist Cathy Buffonge writes in a Caribbean Net News commentary. PANCAP -- established by the Caribbean Community in 2001 in partnership with all the countries in the region, some countries outside the region like Canada and France, regional and international agencies and nongovernmental organizations -- is encouraging participants at the sessions to develop national communication strategies to address stigma. The organization also is looking for common national issues with the aim of developing a regional strategy. PANCAP communication consultant Rovin Deodat at a recent workshop said stigma-related issues in the region include fear of HIV testing; fear of an HIV-positive status; fear of seeking treatment; fear of taking preventive measures; and concealing HIV-positive status from family, friends and community members. "Unless we deal with stigma and discrimination we cannot make any indent on the HIV/AIDS epidemic," Sarah Gordon, deputy program manager at PANCAP, said (Buffonge, Caribbean Net News, 10/24).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.