We are celebrating the inauguration of the knowledge fair for human rights of the HIV and and LGBTI communities. In the United States we commemorate the LGBTI pride month. We are working in reducing stigma and discrimination that effects the LGBTI community and their families.
The HIV epidemic has also generated a lot of stigma and discrimination against effected populations and requires new knowledge to deal with it. The Emergency Plan of the President of the United States for AIDS relief (PEPFAR) supports the country’s efforts to reduce the barriers that prevent key populations from accessing health services.
Today we celebrate three events: First, the close-out of the successful grants issued by the PrevenSida project over the last 7 years, which benefited more than 200,000 people with an investment of 8.5 million dollars; Second, the recognition of the outstanding job performed by leaders of the LGBTI community and populations living with HIV to fight against stigma and discrimination; And finally, the HIV knowledge fair in which 30 studies will be presented in three areas.
A first group of studies analyzed policies and financing issues. The second group worked at a technical level, studying subjects such as the resistance to treatment and laboratory tests. And the last group, led by NGOs, studied access and quality of [health] services at the community level.
Today, we have a greater knowledge of the HIV epidemic in Nicaragua. Information like this allows higher risk populations to be incorporated in the national dialogue to ensure a response to their specific needs. This will allow the strengthening of the HIV national strategic plan to reduce the number of new infections, mortality and discrimination associated with HIV. USAID understands that in order to develop healthy communities, every one’s effort is needed, to make knowledge-based decisions. I invite you all to use the recommendations made by these studies, and integrate them in future action plans to confront the HIV epidemic.
Thank you very much.