XVIII International AIDS Conference


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Upscaling HIV prevention in Caribbean with VCT through partnerships for hosting annual Regional Testing Day

A. Leacock1,2

1Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV/AIDS, Globl Media AIDS Initiative, Christ Church, Barbados, 2Chairman, Global Steering Committee, World AIDS Campaign (WAC),World AIDS Campaign Inc, Capetown, South Africa

Issues: Upscaling VCT in the Caribbean, The Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV and AIDS (CBMP) in collaboration with PANCAP who mobilized the engagement of Ministries and Departments of Health and corporate partner Scotiabank who offered their branches as testing locations, conducted Regional Testing Day on June 26, and 27, 2009. Inaugurated in 2008, this year 16 Caribbean territories participated, a 100% increase over the 6 territories which participated last year.
Description: This year provided a unique opportunity to advance universal access to HIV prevention services in the Caribbean on two days. In an effort to maximize impact and ensure access, testing was conducted on Friday June 26th at Scotiabank branches and then targeted strategic testing at various locations with MARPs done on Saturday, June 27th 2009. 5,214 persons were tested showing an increase of 2,775 persons over last year's figures. To show their support of Regional Testing Day, Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson and Opposition Leader Mia Mottley united to show exemplary leadership and commitment in their response to HIV/AIDS. On Friday, May 22, 2009 at a breakfast Media Launch at the Barbados Hilton, 85 members of the media, intermational and regional organisations and the Health community saw these two powerful figures set political differences aside and unite to mark their commitment to help stem the spread of HIV/AIDS in the region by supporting this initiative.
Lessons learned: The CBMP, Scotiabank and PANCAP are committed to mobilizing Caribbean people to use Testing as a viable means of HIV Prevention. Our goal is to maximize the benefits provided by Scotiabank locations and the CBMP media platforms while linking PANCAP's coordinating mechanism to increase the quality and quantity of testing data to benefit our Caribbean response to HIV to enable more strategic and targeted interventions.
Next steps: Engage whole region in RTD.

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