THE USAID (United States Agency for International Development)-supported ‘Advancing Partners and Communities’ (APC) Project, in collaboration with the Guyana Business Coalition against HIV and AIDS (GBCHA), will today launch a campaign to expand and strengthen collaboration between Guyana’s business sector and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) responding to the twin diseases.
The Joint APC-GBCHA drive is being undertaken with the aim of expanding and reinforcing partnerships involving businesses and NGOs.
The exercise will kick off at 17:00 hrs from the Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) Building on High Street, Kingston, Georgetown.
The forum is being hosted under the theme: ‘Working Together…Achieving Zero: Zero New Infections •Zero AIDS-Related Deaths • Zero Stigma’.
Meanwhile, the APC/GBCHA coalition has announced an impressive decline in the rate of new HIV infections at the end of 2013, under Guyana’s Prevention and Treatment Programme.
For the year under review, there were 758 recorded new infections, as compared to 1,258 in 2006. There has also been a marked reduction in the number of AIDS-related deaths, a GBCHA release said.
The coalition has rated this trend impressive under Guyana’s Prevention and Treatment Programme. It added that these gains in controlling the epidemic would not have been possible without the combined effort of Government, the NGO and business sectors and development partners.
The joint APC-GBCHA release emphasised: “They have shown international donors that the country is ready to go the distance with less donor financing.”
In the face of declining external funding, Guyana’s business and NGO sectors are being called on to expand and strengthen partnerships in support of zero new HIV infections, the release said.
About Advancing Partners and Communities (APC) it said: APC is a five-year project funded by USAID’s Office of Population and Reproductive Health and implemented by JSI Research & Training Institute Inc., in partnership with Family Health International (FHI) 360. APC’s core funding covers grants management and capacity building for NGOs providing services for HIV prevention, care and support. In Guyana, APC supports eleven NGOs across eight of the 10 Administrative Regions, Artistes in Direct Support, Agape Network, Comforting Hearts, the FACT Group, G-Plus, Hope for All, Hope Foundation, Lifeline Counselling, Linden Care, United Bricklayers and Youth Challenge Guyana.
About Guyana Business Coalition against HIV and AIDS, GBCHA is a registered non-profit organisation which works with the Business Sector, the Ministry of Health, International Partners and Community Based Organisations to mobilise resources to assist in the National HIV/AIDS response. Since launching in May 2008, GBCHA expanded its mandate to address general health and wellness including Gender Based Violence. Through human and other resources provided by GBCHA members and partners, the organisation seeks to reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS and to prevent new infections.