World AIDS Day

Remarks by U.S. Ambassador to Nicaragua, Laura F. Dogu
Managua, November 29, 2017

On World AIDS Day, we especially commemorate the right to health that people at risk of getting the disease and those that already live with it have.  All people, regardless of age, sexual orientation, origin, and socioeconomic status have the right to receive high quality health services and to live free of stigma and discrimination.

The right to health is more than medical services. Also, better living conditions, sanitary conditions, working conditions, and access to justice are necessary.  People with less access to health services are the most vulnerable to HIV. In Nicaragua, they are feminine transgender people, men who have sex with men, sex workers, and couples of HIV positive people who do not yet suffer the disease.  The US Government contributes through the program PEPFAR so that HIV services are more accessible to key populations.  We reiterate our commitment to achieve the global goal of ending the epidemic by 2030.

Specifically, the project PrevenSida has invested more than 8 million dollars in 4 areas the past 7 years: institutional strengthening of NGOs, service provision, reduction of stigma and discrimination, and strengthening of NGO participation in national response.  Nicaragua has had so much success in all of these aspects that it will only continue strengthening the management of HIV knowledge with key populations.

Today, the moment has come to graduate the 20 most noted NGOs and the community leaders who achieved the best academic achievement these past seven years.  100 leaders will receive today the title of Community Agents for Comprehensive HIV Care to continue providing quality services to its pair populations.

We also pay homage to the 12 leaders who died because of HIV and who would be receiving their diplomas. They are: Alexis Montiel, Anthonella Marín, Carlos Contreras Somarriba, Fátima López Álvarez, Kristel Morales, Lester Zamir Hernández, Manoly Massiel López, María Magdalena Moreira, Ruby Acuña, Sergio Bonilla, Sharlot Pérez, and Vicky Amador.

Even though they are not here with us today, their contribution was very important.  Now you have the power and the knowledge to develop the 2018 plan and for future years in benefit of your communities, families, and friends.  You can qualify to receive funds from other donors and continue with your professional plans. Congratulations on deciding to be Agents of Change.

Thank you.

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