The Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP), the mechanism that provides a structured and unified approach to the Caribbean’s response to the HIV epidemic, will host the PANCAP Knowledge for Health ‘Treat All’ Strategy and Message Design Workshop from December 7-8 in Port-of-Spain, Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
The ‘Treat All’ policy, announced in September 2015 by the World Health Organisation (WHO), stated that anyone infected with HIV should begin antiretroviral treatment as soon after diagnosis as possible. With its “treat-all” recommendation, WHO removed all limitations on eligibility for antiretroviral therapy (ART) among people living with HIV; all populations and age groups are now eligible for treatment.
The workshop, designed to build the capacity of National AIDS Programme (NAP) Managers and representatives of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in creating strategic ‘Treat All’ messages, will host over 30 participants. It is an initiative of the PANCAP Knowledge for Health Project and will be facilitated by Beth Mallalieu, a Health Communications Specialist from the Johns Hopkins Centre of Communication Programmes and the PANCAP Knowledge for Health team.
Participants will be engaged in identifying target audiences (with a focus on key populations), selecting appropriate channels of communication and creating ‘Treat All’ messages that can be easily understood by key populations.
“We have listened to the needs of our civil society partners and NAP Managers and there is an urgent need for public education messages that explain the Treat All policy and benefits,” stated Director of PANCAP, Dereck Springer. “We have developed a series of fact sheets on Treat All and the 90-90-90 targets; this workshop provides us with the opportunity to work directly with the Partnership to formulate strategic messages for key populations including Men who have sex with men, Sex workers and Youth within these key populations. It is essential that all stakeholders are educated about Treat All as we move to fast track the 90-90-90 targets.”
The workshop culminates a year of significant success for the Partnership with the relaunch of the Champions for Change initiative and specific interventions for CSOs, NAP managers, parliamentarians, youth, faith leaders and six countries in the region being certified as having achieved elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV and Syphilis.