2011 Caribbean HIV Conference Designed To Explore Cross-Cutting Issues

Conference provides multidisciplinary forum for HIV stakeholders in the Caribbean to learn and exchange ideas about the most pressing issues facing the region

 NASSAU, The Bahamas, Oct. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The 2011 Caribbean HIV Conference: Strengthening Evidence To Achieve Sustainable Action, November 18–21, will bring together approximately 2,000 individuals from across the Caribbean to review research findings, to learn about best practices and skills-building tools, and to participate in networking opportunities. The program also will address regional cross-cutting issues, including:

–          Capacity-Building

–          Gender Issues

–          Human Rights

–          Research To Inform Action

–          Sustainability

–          Youth

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“By focusing our agenda on these issues, we’ve created a program that’s relevant to multiple stakeholders and will allow participants to build on their learnings as they attend different conference sessions,” said Conference Co-Chair Prof. Daisy M. Gely of the Medical Sciences Campus, University of Puerto Rico. “Presenters close to the issues facing the HIV community in the Caribbean will share expertise and research findings with reproducible results to provide a rich experience that will help us move forward collectively to best address the regional epidemic.”

These cross-cutting issues are woven throughout five program tracks:

–          Track A: Special Populations

  • The conference has multiple sessions discussing the unique considerations for populations such as MSM (men who have sex with men), substance users, youth, children, women, and sex workers, among others.

–          Track B: Legal, Ethical, Cultural, Spiritual, and Leadership Issues

  • Cultural, spiritual, and societal factors affect HIV stakeholders across the region. Conference-goers will have an opportunity to attend sessions highlighting the importance of these issues in the community. This track also seeks to promote leadership and sustainability at the national, regional, community, and individual levels.

–          Track C: Epidemiology, Basic Science, and Vaccine Research

  • The conference will explore the latest techniques, research findings, and management of HIV, which include considerations for coexisting infections, a significant public health concern in the Caribbean.

–          Track D: Treatment, Care, and Support

  • Treatment, care, and support are all vital components of achieving good outcomes for individuals with HIV. The conference will explore new approaches, best practices, social and economic influences, and other aspects of treatment, care, and support for individuals of various demographic backgrounds across the region.

–          Track E: Prevention: Social, Behavioral, and Biomedical Change

  • HIV prevention is a regional and global priority. Attendees will discuss social, behavioral, and biomedical research and strategies to reduce transmission.

Leading political, scientific, and public health leaders are included in the impressive roster of speakers contributing to the agenda. Visit https://www.2011caribbeanhivconference.org/2011-caribbean-hiv-conference-speakers-announced to view a list of some of the featured speakers and session moderators.

This event is the third Caribbean HIV conference in the past decade, and it is designed to build on successes of the previous events, which demonstrated that regional cooperation and collaboration are key to confronting HIV in the Caribbean. The multidisciplinary forum is designed to support local interests and education and is open and free of charge to anyone who would like to attend.

The conference will be conducted in both English and Spanish. To view the full conference program, visit http://www.2011CaribbeanHIVConference.org/agenda. To register, go to https://www.2011caribbeanhivconference.org/Registration.

Members of the media are also invited to attend. For information about how to register as a media representative, visit https://www.2011caribbeanhivconference.org/Media%20Information.

Please Note: Media members must create an account prior to submitting a registration form. Additionally, media interested in attending must register with the Bahamas Information Services office. More information can be found at: https://www.2011caribbeanhivconference.org/Media%20Information

More About the 2011 Caribbean HIV Conference

The 2011 Caribbean HIV Conference will take place November 18–21, 2011, at the Atlantis Conference Center in Nassau, The Bahamas.

The conference is sponsored by the Government of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas; Medical Sciences Campus, University of Puerto Rico; and the Office of AIDS Research, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Prof. Gely’s Conference Co-Chairs are Dr. Perry Gomez, Director, National AIDS Programme, Princess Margaret Hospital, Ministry of Health, The Bahamas; and Dr. Jack Whitescarver, NIH Associate Director for AIDS Research and Director, Office of AIDS Research, NIH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Partners for the conference include: Caribbean Community (CARICOM); Caribbean Health Research Council (CHRC); Caribbean Regional Network of People Living With HIV/AIDS (CRN+); Caribbean Treatment Action Group (CTAG); Caribbean Vulnerable Communities (CVC) Coalition; Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS); Kerzner International, National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC); Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO); Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP); U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR); Trans-Caribbean HIV/AIDS Research Initiative (TCHARI); and The University of the West Indies (UWI).

About HIV in the Caribbean

Although it varies from country to country, adult HIV prevalence in the Caribbean is approximately 1 percent, which is higher than that of any region of the world outside of sub-Saharan Africa (UNAIDS 2010 Global Report). While the overall response to HIV in the Caribbean has improved, other health challenges and the impact of natural disasters affect the available resources for people living with the disease. Unprotected sex between men and women—especially paid sex—is thought to be the main mode of HIV transmission in this region (UNAIDS 2010 Global Report).