CDC’s Caribbean Regional Office (CDC-CRO) opened in 2002 and works with 11 Ministries of Health (MoH) and regional partners to strengthen HIV/AIDS programs and to build public health capacity. CDC-CRO also serves as a platform to address other urgent public health problems in the region.
CDC-CRO focuses on four key areas:
1) Increasing the availability of high quality data to improve programs
2) Strengthening laboratory systems and services
3) Preventing HIV transmission and improving clinical outcomes, with a focus on key populations
4) Building public health capacity
Key Activities and Accomplishments
Studies on HIV prevalence and risk factors for infection are being conducted in men who have sex with men (MSM) in the Bahamas, Barbados, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. Studies in female sex workers are being conducted in Antigua, Barbuda, and Barbados. Results from these studies will help improve these populations’ access to quality care and treatment services.
CDC is working with 11 Ministries of Health in the region to develop annual surveillance reports and HIV “continuum of care” cascades. Information on gaps in the “continuum of care” will inform the design of interventions to ultimately increase the proportion of persons who are virally suppressed.
CDC is supporting the construction of a national reference laboratory in Barbados that will provide support services to six Eastern Caribbean countries.
CDC supported the Ladymeade laboratory in Barbados and the HIV reference laboratory in the Bahamas to achieve international accreditation from the College of American Pathologists. Four other laboratories in the region have received partial accreditation and are working towards full accreditation.
Working with MoHs in the region to increase the number of individuals who know their HIV status, link HIV-positive individuals to care and treatment services, and improve retention and treatment adherence.
Supporting key technical positions in the MoHs to strengthen national HIV/AIDS programs. Several governments have committed to absorbing these positions over time.
Supporting MoHs in the roll-out of rapid HIV testing across the region.