HIV representatives meet with Minister of Public Health

Minister of Public Health Social Development & Labor Cornelius de Weever met with representatives of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat/Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP), the German International Cooperation (GIZ), EPOS Health Management and the PAHO HIV Caribbean Office (PHCO)earlier this week at his office to discuss access to affordable treatment for HIV in St. Maarten.

The delegation is here on St. Maarten on a two day consultation stakeholders meeting from May 7-8, 2013 to meet with various stakeholders to discuss HIV drug price reduction strategies for St. Maarten. The consultation meetings are being held at Sonesta Great Bay Beach Hotel.

"St. Maarten is yet again achieving a very important milestone in the fight against HIV/AIDS by getting this opportunity to be able to have access to cheaper medication for those living with HIV/AIDS, in addition to that St. Maarten has been fortunate to be one of those pilot countries to receive funding from the German International Cooperation to implement activities in the continued fight against HIV/AIDS," said Minister De Weever.

Topics to be discussed during the two day meetings are as follows: How to implement and organize price negotiations; which system to use for drug procurement; how to reduce price components and which patent policy to choose.

The consultancy will be conducted through the framework of the GIZ-funded project "Improving Access of HIV Services to Migrant and Mobile Populations in the Caribbean." The goal of this short term consultancy is to define and implement new strategies for St. Maarten that will aid in a reduction of HIV prices through access to generic HIV medication.

The Federal Republic of Germany awarded a grant for technical assistance support to the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP). The grant IS being executed by the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) which will be working in partnership with the PANCAP Coordination Unit (PCU) of the CARICOM Secretariat, to implement the grant activities. The technical assistance seeks to enhance both the accessibility and the quality of HIV prevention, care and treatment services for migrant populations in the Caribbean, in keeping with one of PANCAP’s strategic objectives of providing universal access to migrant populations. The grant will provide funding for a project that will focus on five pilot countries, namely Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana, St. Maarten, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.