Nassau, The Bahamas -- Dr Perry Gomez,
Director of the National AIDS Program at the Ministry of Health and
Chief of Infectious Diseases at Princess Margaret Hospital described
the 2011 Caribbean HIV Conference as a “signature” moment for The
Bahamas and the National AIDS program here.
Prime Minister the Rt Hon Hubert A Ingraham (centre) greets Dr Perry Gomez, Director of the National AIDS Program at the Ministry of Health and Chief of Infectious Diseases at Princess Margaret Hospital before the opening of the 2011 Caribbean HIV Conference. Pictured looking on at left is Dr the Hon Hubert Minnis. (BIS photo/Kristaan Ingraham)
“The fact that this conference is being
held here in The Bahamas is recognition of the work of the National
AIDS program in its collaboration with successive governments over 20
years in particularly in the area of advocacy, human rights, treatment,
care and support of persons living with HIV and AIDS,” he said.
Dr Gomez, who also serves as a conference
co-chair, gave welcome remarks at the opening ceremony. The four-day
event is being held at Atlantis Resorts, Paradise Island and will end,
Monday, November 21.
The conference focuses on HIV in the
Caribbean and is intended to highlight among others scientific research
findings, skills-building tools and networking opportunities.
Prime Minister the Rt Hon Hubert Ingraham
and Minister of Health the Hon Hubert Minnis also participated in the
opening ceremony. Among those in attendance were Cabinet Ministers,
Members of Parliament and senior Government officials.
Dr Gomez said the conference brings together
the entire Caribbean under one roof. “The Spanish, English, French
and Dutch; we are proud to have you all here. This is the largest scientific
conference ever held in the Caribbean.
It promises to be an outstanding conference,”
He acknowledged Pan Caribbean Partnership
Against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP) for its demonstration of solidarity for
the Caribbean HIV conference by moving its annual general meeting from
Belize to The Bahamas.
Conference sessions include presentations
by local representatives including Dionne Dames-Rahming on Human Papillomavirus
(HPV), Dr Percival McNeil on Paediatric HIV Issues, Camille Barnett
on Psychosocial Factors in HIV-Related Care, Amanda Lewis on Educating
Youth for Risk Reduction and Delon Brennen on Sustaining HIV Care, Treatment
and Support in The Bahamas.