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Although the Region from the beginning of the 21st century was faced with the tremendous risk of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the threat has been mitigated by the persistent work of the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP).This is according to Garfield Barnwell, Caricom’s Director of Sustainable Development, who addressed the gathering at a Guyana/Suriname Joint Border Health meeting at the Guyana International Conference Centre (GCCI) on Friday.He said that the Caricom sub-region had the highest incidence of HIV facing any sub-region with the exception of Sub-Saharan Africa.And according to him the economic potential of the Region by every expert estimate was under a serious and real threat whereby productive human resources were at risk of contracting the disease.Mr Garfield Barnwell,China NFL Jerseys, Caricom’s Sustainable Development DirectorHowever, Barnwell noted that 12 years later this threat has lessened through PANCAP which is a regional partnership established by CARICOM Heads of Government in 2001 to respond to the epidemic in the Caribbean. And according to him too “the tireless work of its stalwarts should never be forgotten.”He pointed out that the partnership in its infancy negotiated on the world stage the first successful reduction of the prices of anti-retroviral with the International Pharmaceutical Companies from the impossible level of US$12,000 per patient annually to almost US$1000.And that latter triumph, he underscored, was celebrated this year in Barcelona on PANCAP’s 10th anniversary.According to Barnwell, many of the stalwarts of those negotiations – Drs. Denzil Douglas, Prime Minister of St. Kitts; Drs. Leslie Ramsammy and Douglas Slayter, former Ministers of Health, along with Professor Edward Greene former Assistant Secretary General at the CARICOM Secretariat, were on hand for the celebration.Barnwell said that “access to anti-retrovirals across our Region has been pivotal to our success in reducing mortality from HIV.” He noted, too, that coverage of those eligible has reached over 50 per cent which is testimony to the heroic efforts made to eliminate Mother to Child Transmission of the virus, and according to him, “the Region is at the point of achieving this goal. I am told that this wide spread use of ARVs has been the single most important feature of our prevention efforts these days.”And while clinical management has yielded much success, Barnwell noted that efforts in some areas are yet lagging. He specifically alluded to “our success in dealing with stigma and discrimination has been below par. The lack of equal access to prevention,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, care and treatment has been of concern.”However, Barnwell said that Dr. Edward Greene,NFL Jerseys Supply, the current UN Ambassador to the Region, continues to champion the cause of the vulnerable and ineligible by promoting the need for effective anti-stigma policies.And PANCAP,NFL Jerseys Outlet, he said, has contributed its share to this effort.Moreover, an anti-stigma toolkit continues to be useful to HIV workers and enterprises, said the Sustainable Development Director who disclosed that PANCAP continues to be an excellent partner to the Member States and vulnerable groups.And according to Barnwell,Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping, the CARICOM Secretariat is pleased to be associated with the Guyana/Suriname Joint Border Health Meeting-Summit which he said “subtly points out the anomaly these two Member States represent being continental members of our integration movement.”“This is unique, for these two are the only Member States that share a common border.It is my understanding that these meetings have a long history. They have had as their principal themes the sharing of epidemiological information and best practices all aimed to ensure that the populations of each Member State are subjected to minimize the risk from the constant Migration which takes place.”He observed that whilst the agenda of such conferences, over the years, has had a staple of items, in the last 20 years HIV, its prevention,Cheap Jerseys, surveillance and management have been added.“We at the Secretariat are indeed grateful to the German Government and German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ) for their interest in Migration as driver of the HIV epidemic and its willingness to work with Guyana and Suriname as pilots for improving the approach to migrants in the broader frame work of HIV care and support,” said Barnwell.And even as he commented on the move by Guyana and Suriname to collaborate, he observed that cooperation in health in the Region has had a long history and even pre-dates CARICOM.He emphasized that the Declaration of Needham Point in July 2007 by the Conference of Heads firmly established Functional Cooperation as a co-equal pillar of the Region’s integration efforts adding that “our resolve to tackle Health through Caribbean Cooperation in Health comports well with that directive.”As a result, Barnwell underscored that the Region must be proud of its achievements in reducing HIV and also of its new strides in trying “to stem the tide of Non-Communicable Disease.”Those, he added, comport with that historic statement of the Heads of Government in Nassau, Bahamas in July 2001: “the Health of the Region is the Wealth of the Region” where HIV and NCDs were identified along with Mental Health as Super priorities in Health.