Antigua and BarbudaHealthHIV/AIDSMemberPress ReleasesTrinidad and TobagoYouth Development


(CARICOM Secretariat, Georgetown, Guyana) A CARICOM Minister responsible for youth affairs has challenged the Community's young people with the responsibility to “make a difference” in the fight against the spread of the HIV/AIDS Epidemic.

The challenge came from the Hon. Winston Williams, Minister of Health, Youth and Sports, Antigua and Barbuda, as he addressed the Region's youth participating in a CARICOM HIV/AIDS Advocacy workshop held in Trinidad and Tobago, 15-18 November 2004. The Minister called on the young people to champion the efforts to eradicate the stigma attached to the disease, urging them to ensure that their efforts are results based and sustained.

The workshop formed part of an ongoing capacity building exercise for the CARICOM Youth Ambassadors. It also involved representatives of National Youth Councils and other youth groups and Networks from across the Region. Recognising the need for a collaborative approach to a youth response to HIV/AIDS, participants were reminded that the rest of the world is waiting for them to collectively initiate the paradigm shift in the control of the pandemic.

Described as the “ultimate socio-economic test” for the Caribbean and particularly for young people, who are among the highest infected persons and greatest risk group in the Region, HIV/AIDS is a developmental issue and demands that action begins with young people, as they are the vanguards of Regional development.

At the end of the workshop, the young leaders are expected to be fully sensitised to take the lead in HIV/AIDS Advocacy.

The Workshop was hosted by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, and funded by United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and the German Technical Co-operation (GTZ). The GTZ, based in the Dominican Republic is a major partner in the fight against HIV/AIDS and has been working with CARICOM and other Regional agencies since 2002.

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