Battling HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean.
The high cost of pharmaceuticals has been identified as one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome. Recently, however, local governments have started negotiating with pharmaceutical companies to bring down these costs. According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the price of antiretroviral drugs has decreased by as much as 54 percent between 2001 and 2002, saving over $2,000 per person. However this reduction varies by country and the amount paid in one place may be ten times that of another. Even with price reductions, treatment is still unaffordable to most in the region.
While negotiations focus on treatment, others target prevention efforts. "Together We Can," launched in 1993, is a program of the American and Jamaican Red Cross aimed at reducing AIDS among young people throughout the Caribbean. The program works with youth ages 13-19, and through workshops, discussions, educational games and interaction with HIVinfected peers, the participants are trained in HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. Then each agrees to reach out to 30 peers in their home communities. The program has inspired a region-wide interest in AIDS education, as well as the recent creation of the Red Cross Caribbean AIDS Network.
Unfortunately, the Caribbean AIDS epidemic is still largely unknown in the global community. Only through raising awareness and funding, as well as expanding the combined efforts of prevention and education programs like the examples sited above, can the Caribbean community ultimately stem the tide against HIV/AIDS.
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Date:||Jun 22, 2003|
|Previous Article:||You can do to change the politics of sexuality education. (Five Easy Things).|
|Next Article:||Message from the President.|