By: Abby Belongy
The UN set a Millennium Development Goal to halt and begin reversing the spread of HIV/AIDs by 2015. The Caribbean, one of the most-affected regions in the world, has taken this extremely seriously. Countries in the area, including the Dominican Republic, have decided the best way to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS is to prevent the transmission of the disease from mothers to babies. Hospitals have offered support to pregnant mothers which includes free testing, Cesarean sections, medications, and breast milk alternatives, and this is being advertised throughout the region (see poster above). With these steps, the Caribbean hopes to be the first region in the world to eliminate mother-to-child transmissions, possibly by 2015.
The eradication of the deadly disease could be revolutionary in a struggling region. However, Caribbean officials and citizens acknowledge the need for support to accomplish their goal. Outside aid has been crucial to the development of awareness and treatment in the Caribbean, and a possibility of decreased funding puts the 2015 milestone at risk. Additionally, the stigma against homosexuals in the area is still strong. Advocates for the elimination of HIV/AIDS argue that the only way to truly fix the problem is to be less judgmental about homosexuality, so people are not afraid or ashamed to get tested or get treatment.
About the Caribbean’s progress – http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/2013/1009/The-Caribbean-makes-strides-in-reducing-HIV-AIDS-in-babies
About the UN Millennium Development Goals – http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/aids.shtml
About HIV/AIDS in different regions – http://www.unaids.org/en/regionscountries/regions/