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US Health Department's Policy Shift in AIDS and HIV Funding

For Release Upon Receipt - Friday, September 5, 2014

The US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) which manages US funding for HIV/AIDS globally, has advised The University of the West Indies that as a result of a global policy shift, funding for The UWI based Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training Programme (CHART) and other funded health training partnerships, will be discontinued by September 1, 2014.


In a letter to the UWI, HRSA indicated that "all PEPFAR programs are being realigned to meet the 50 percent care and treatment earmark mandated in authorizing U.S. legislation." Further, the US Health Department indicated that: "The shift in program focus will not include funding (of) training activities or human resources for health activities that have been the focus of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training (CHART) Network’s scope of work. Likewise, the shift in program focus will also affect the current Infectious Disease Residency partnership."


The US government Department said that diplomatic notification of this policy re-alignment has already occurred. HRSA stated that there will be a transition period which began globally on September 1, 2014, and which will be completed by December 31stof this year. According to the letter sent to The UWI: "The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has been directed to transition, or otherwise end, these activities by the end of this calendar year."


Commenting on this development, Vice Chancellor of The UWI, Professor E. Nigel Harris, has expressed his regret at the decision made and on the early implementation timeframe.


He said such a decision will have adverse implications for staff employed to The UWI CHART Programme. The Vice-Chancellor said meetings with the affected staff members are being arranged to inform them of this development and to discuss its implications.


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