HIV research unit online
A?MAJOR HIV?research unit encompassing 5 000 scientific publications and reports on HIV in Barbados and the Caribbean is now available online.
The Virtual HIV Research Unit (VHRU), a collaboration of the Ministry of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development, the University of the West Indies and the National HIV/AIDS Commission (NHAC), was launched on Monday.
Delivering the feature address, Minister of Social Care Steve Blackett said his ministry was committed to its vision “to ensure that all Barbadians are empowered to respond effectively to the threat posed by HIV to the sustainable development of our nation”.
Before an audience that included Minister of Health John Boyce and chairman of the NHAC Research Committee Professor Clive Landis, Blackett said that with about 5 000 scientific publications and reports on HIV in Barbados and the Caribbean available to date on the facility, the VHRU was by far the most comprehensive collection of HIV scholarly documents in one location here in Barbados.
At the top VHRU?can be found on HIVgateway.com.
The minister said it would be available to researchers, students, non-governmental organisations, community-based groups and anyone else intricately involved in the area of HIV education, care and/or support.
He said that the VHRU came at a significant time – the beginning of Government’s National Strategic Plan For HIV, 2014 to 2018.
He said the NSP’s vision was that by 2018, Barbados would make significant progress toward achieving the global HIV elimination goal: zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths.
“The NHAC’s slogan, The Fight Is Not Over, is accurate because we cannot rest on our laurels, but should continue with fervour in our National AIDS Programme until we get right to zero,” he added.
Minister Boyce said the VHRU was a significant step in the HIV challenge. He hailed it as cutting-edge technology and said there would be plenty of lessons to be learnt.
Professor Landis said the VHRC would be enjoyed especially by students.
“I think it will be very useful to the public because they will be able to find the true facts on HIV, not the myths.”