I join thousands of global leaders, healthcare providers, families, and friends in our Federation, the Caribbean and around the world, in recognizing all who have given their lives, time and talents to fight against the spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
As a medical doctor and a Founding Member of PANCAP, I had the honor of leading CARICOM’s efforts in reducing and eliminating AIDS in the Caribbean. Our team of professionals, clinicians, scientists and religious and community leaders work relentlessly with global partners, to make our region first class in results. We not only successfully tackled AIDS through education, prevention, treatment, and testing, but we also removed the negative stereotypes associated with it.
Today, we continue to fight AIDS which over the last 40 years has claimed 32.7 million lives (WHO 2020). We remain fully energized by our collective love and caring, remembering those who have died from AIDS and supporting those who are living with HIV/AIDS, and their families.
This year’s theme, “Ending HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Resilence and Impact” brings me comfort. It calls on each of us to be in solidarity with persons who are still living with HIV/AIDS. But it still remains a challenge, considering that presently we are fighting also the Covid-19 pandemic which already has claimed 1.4 million lives. But hope springs from the fact that apart from the prevention protocols, vaccines are now emerging.
We are therefore charged to exert every effort to eliminate HIV/AIDS totally from the Caribbean and the world. Let this commitment be our guide!
Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas
Leader, Parliamentary Opposition,
Leader, NextGen SKNLP,
PM of SKN ( 1995-2015)