Collaboration and Knowledge Exchange to Promote “Treat All” in the Caribbean
In 2001, the Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) was created to provide a unified response to combating the epidemic. While the HIV prevalence declined from 2% in 2001 to 1.3% in 2016, the Caribbean is still the second-most affected region in the world, and a significant gap remains in meeting key global targets by 2020.
Reaching key populations—men who have sex with men, sex workers, and transgender people—is essential for achieving global targets. Civil society organizations have gained vast experience addressing the stigma and discrimination that create significant barriers to providing HIV information and services to these populations. Therefore, collaboration between civil society organizations and national AIDS programs is crucial. Recognizing the wealth of HIV-related knowledge within individual Caribbean countries that could benefit other countries in the region, in 2016, PANCAP and the Knowledge for Health (K4Health) Project formed a partnership to facilitate the development and sharing of this knowledge. The same year, WHO released its “Treat All” guidelines, providing HIV practitioners with a framework to standardize HIV/AIDS services.
The PANCAP–K4Health partnership provides a unique opportunity for regional stakeholders to exchange knowledge and work together to implement “Treat All.” The partnership provides a space for national AIDS program managers to collaborate with civil society organizations to tackle Caribbean-specific challenges, reach more clients, and, ultimately, improve their HIV response. As a result, regional implementers are applying new knowledge and skills into their programs to, for example, create regional guidelines and advocate for additional government funding.