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An update on HIV in the Caribbean region: CURACAO

From April 01, 2023 09:00 until April 02, 2023 17:00
Posted by Luigia Baerecke
Categories: Conference
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Successes and challenges

The Caribbean region has the second highest HIV prevalence globally, following sub-Saharan Africa. Despite access to testing and treatment, the number of new HIV diagnoses in the Dutch Caribbean region has not been decreasing, in contrast to global trends. UNAIDS has set global targets, 90-90-90, which are essential for ending the HIV epidemic: 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status, 90% of all people diagnosed with HIV will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy, and 90% of all people receiving therapy will have reached viral suppression. These targets require early identification, retention in care on effective treatment, and adequate virological suppression. In the past 4 years we have conducted the SPIRIT study to gain insight into the HIV epidemic in Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao and their challenges to reach the 90-90-90 goals.

During this conference, we will provide you with an in-depth overview of the HIV epidemic on the islands and give an update on the latest scientific breakthroughs. Extensive attention will be paid to:

  • The local HIV epidemic
  • HIV diagnostics: Risk factors for late diagnosis of HIV
  • Specific risk groups such as undocumented migrants
  • HIV stigma
  • Tools for prevention such as PrEP (Pre-exposure prophylaxis)
  • Latest developments in therapy, vaccine, and cure research

This conference aims to be an interactive meeting where your input is important. The conference can also be attended online.

Only together we can make an impact on the local HIV epidemic!

Dates and location
Thursday 30th of March: Alhambra Ballroom, Aruba
Saturday 1st of April: Renaissance, Curacao

This meeting is organized by the SPIRIT Study consortium, the Dutch Aidsfonds, and NASKHO.

 Spirit Study:

- Oduber Hospitaal Aruba: Karina Kelly, Jaclyn de Kort, Bert Rodenburg.
- Curacao Medical Center: Athalia Alberto, Ashley Duits, Esther Rooijakkers, Diederik van de Wetering
- Fundashon Mariadal Bonaire: Saskia Autar, Audri Statie, Andert Rosingh
- University Medical Center Utrecht: Marije Hofstra, Monique Nijhuis, Marlous Rodriguez, Annemarie Wensing

Target audience: physicians, pharmacists, professionals in sexual health/ public health, and anyone with an interest in HIV


• Provide insight into the successes and challenges of the current local HIV epidemic.
• Provide an update on the newest scientific insights.

Language: English

Saturday April 1st, 2023 Session 1

From - To Subject Speaker
8.30 - 9.00 Registration Session 1  
9.00 - 9.30 Introduction on HIV and the local epidemic Prof. Ashley Duits,
Red Cross Blood Bank Foundation, Curaçao
9.30 - 9.40 Honoring the past, while heading to the future: breaking taboos and overcoming stigma Iralice Heyligar - Jansen,
Section Infectious Diseases, Ministry of Health Curaçao
9.40 - 10.30 HIV testing - who should be tested? 

Dr. Marije Hofstra, UMC Utrecht, the Netherlands/ Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation, South Africa

10.30 - 11.00 Coffee break  
11.00 - 11.40 Developments in HIV treatment Dr. Esther Rooijakkers, Curaçao Medical Center, Curaçao
11.40 - 12.30 HIV care for undocumented individuals Dr. Diederik van de Wetering, Curaçao Medical Center, Curaçao
12.30 - 13.30 Lunch break  

Saturday April 1st, 2023 Session 2

From - To Subject Speaker
13.30 - 13.45 Registration Session 2  
13.45 - 14.30 HIV-related stigma: the patient perspective Athalia Alberto, Curaçao Medical Center, Curaçao
14.30 - 15.10 Strategies for HIV prevention: partner notification Dr. Eline op de Coul, RIVM, the Netherlands
15.10 - 15.40 Coffee break  
15.40 - 16.20 Strategies for HIV prevention: Pre-exposure prophylaxis Prof. Marc van de Valk, Amsterdam UMC, the Netherlands
16.20 - 17.00 Developments in the field of HIV cure Dr. Anne Wensing, UMC Utrecht, the Netherlands 

Registration Fee US $ 25 per session

 # CAN A23.008

Morning session 3 Points
Afternoon session 3 points