Set for July 30–August 2, 2019, 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 convene the Third Regional Meeting of Youth Leaders in Trinidad and Tobago.

The Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV and AIDS meeting comes approximately one year after the second meeting of youth leaders and 18 months ahead of the 2020 deadline for reaching the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) 90-90-90 Targets. The targets speak to 90% of people living with HIV being diagnosed, 90% of diagnosed people being on treatment, and 90% of those on treatment being virally suppressed. 

At the forum, regional youth leaders, including those from Guyana, will be involved in drafting a roadmap with strategies for sustaining youth advocacy for the promotion of gender equality, HIV prevention, actions to end gender-based violence, and access to quality sexual reproductive health (SRH) services to meet the needs of adolescents and youth regardless of disability, age, citizenship, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

According to Kevin Mendez, Chair of the PANCAP Youth Advocacy Steering Committee, the forum will also facilitate sharing of success stories and lessons learnt from regional youth leaders calling attention to issues concerning adolescents’ health and rights. “Youth leaders will combine their experiences and knowledge to identify innovative ways to address gaps in the achievement of the priority areas of the Caribbean Regional Youth Advocacy Framework on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights,” stated Mendez. He added, “our goal is to strengthen the Caribbean regional HIV response and create a roadmap with strategies for sustaining youth advocacy.”  

In excess of 40 participants will attend, consisting of CARICOM Youth Ambassadors (CYAs), youth leaders from key populations, representatives of the Caribbean Family Planning Affiliation (CFPA), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/World Health Organization (WHO), Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC), CariFLAGS, Caribbean Right Here, Right Now (CRHRN), and the Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. Over 15 Caribbean territories will be represented.  


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