OECS encourages global participation in reduction of HIV
Thursday, December 6, 2018
by Anicia Antoine, GIS

In celebration of World Aids Day 2018, the OECS released a series of Public Service Announcements (PSAs) on HIV Awareness and advocacy.

World Aids Day was observed on Dec. 1, under the theme “Know Your Status.”

The OECS HIV/TB Elimination Project Coordinator, Dr. Cleophas D'Auvergne, said that this was an opportunity for all citizens across the OECS to join in a worldwide movement to unite in the fight against HIV.

“Know your status is important because it is part of the UNA’s 1999 treatment cascade. In the OECS, we are currently at 80 percent of persons knowing their status, and 48 percent having suppression, so we are more or less resolute in achieving those targets and knowing your status is an important part of this.”

Dr. Cleophas D'Auvergne stated that the global community should play its part in encouraging education at a grass roots level where a difference can be made.

“The OECS continues to have challenges in terms of the response to HIV, and some of those challenges include the continued stigma and discrimination placed on persons living with HIV; a loss of follow up on patients dropping out of treatment and care; and there also needs to be a greater focus on the youth with targeted interventions made for youth because there have been new infections in HIV recorded among the youth.”

Dr. Cleophas D'Auvergne stated that the OECS has been making strides to overcome some of those challenges by introducing new technology for faster diagnosis of HIV as well as identifying the key population via the population size estimate studies.