Incorporating human rights principles into the HIV response in a meaningful and sustained fashion is critical to ending AIDS.

This was opined by Vincentian, Winfield Tannis-Abbott, as he delivered closing plenary remarks at the “Third Latin America and Caribbean Forum on Sustainability of the HIV Response” held in Haiti, last week.

He said “our governments, the international donor community and all our organizations are making significant investments in HIV prevention, treatment and combating stigma and discrimination. But we know better than anyone that to get the best returns on those investments we must place special focus on human development, access to social justice for all and the particular needs of key and vulnerable communities.”

Mr. Tannis-Abbott who is the Civil Society Representative and Chair of the Caribbean Regional Network of Persons Living with and affected by HIV and AIDS, called for a scaling up of the Greater Involvement of People living with HIV.

He said the recent natural disasters in our region have exposed the need for policies to ensure the availability of medicines in emergency contexts. Assessments must be done now on the impact of these natural disasters on countries’ HIV responses.

Tannis-Abbott further expressed commitment to children and adolescents, saying that investment must be made in age-appropriate comprehensive sexuality education and youth-friendly services for in-school, out-of-school and at-risk youth.

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