UNFPA and OPEC Fund Launch Drive to Prevent HIV/AIDS in Central America and the Caribbean

  • 24 April 2009

A new initiative to prevent HIV/AIDS in Central America and the Caribbean was formally launched in Havana, Cuba, in early April. The effort, implemented by UNFPA with a $3.2 million contribution from the OPEC Fund for International Development, aims to raise awareness of sexually transmitted diseases among the youth of the region, which has the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in the Western Hemisphere. It will also provide young people with sexual and reproductive health care that is youth-friendly, and gender and culturally sensitive.

The new initiative is a follow up to an agreement signed by UNFPA and the OPEC Fund in November 2002. Countries benefiting from the initiative include Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras and Saint Lucia. The Havana launch coincided with the Second Forum on STIs/HIV/AIDS for Latin America and the Caribbean. Kunio Waki, UNFPA Deputy Executive Director, and Edwin Gutierrez, Senior Officer of the Vienna-based OPEC Fund, spoke at the event.

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