Education ministers from the Organization of East Caribbean States (OECS) have said schools of member-countries will add HIV/AIDS prevention studies to their respective curricula.
Arsen James, education minister of St. Lucia, said the pandemic has raised concern of great magnitude in the region where, according to UN statistics, the year 2006 saw 170,000 new cases of infection and full-grown AIDS.
Nehum Jn Baptiste, director of St. Lucia National AIDS Programme, said the OECS has been actively considering adding the issue to the regional development agenda. The Dominican Republic and Haiti are the hardest hit among the Caribbean countries and rank as the second region after sub-Saharan Africa.
The OECS, now in existence for 25 years, comprises Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Anguilla and Montserrat and the British Virgin Islands.
These governments coordinate anti-AIDS strategies with the Caribbean Community, the UN and the Caribbean Epidemiology Center.