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Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition, Dominican Republic/Jamaica

Fellowship Site Directors: Ivan Cruickshank,  

Site Contact: John Waters,    


Site Specialties: 

  • Advocacy HIV 
  • Vulnerable populations 
  • LGBTQ 
  • Stigma 

Site Description: 

Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) is a coalition of community leaders and non-governmental agencies that are advocates and service providers, working with and on behalf of Caribbean populations who are especially vulnerable to HIV infection or often forgotten in access to treatment and healthcare programmes. These groups include men who have sex with men, persons of trans experience, sex workers, people who use drugs, orphans and other children made vulnerable by HIV, migrant populations, persons in prison and ex-prisoners, and youth in especially difficult circumstances. These groups are subjected to high levels of stigma and discrimination. They also lack the social and legal protection afforded other members of society and are socially excluded because their behaviour may be deemed delinquent, deviant or criminal. Stigma, discrimination and social exclusion place affected persons at significant disadvantage in their struggle against HIV and AIDS and in realizing their right to health. Gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, youth, poverty and language differences exacerbate the vulnerabilities. In some countries, HIV prevalence is as high as 27% among sex workers and 32% among men who have sex with men.  Young people between 15 and 24 years old account for the highest number of new HIV infections. Data on HIV prevalence in persons of trans experience in the Caribbean is limited, but elevated where available, at 17% or more in the DR (based on data from three studies with limited samples of persons of trans experience) and as high as 52% in Jamaica. CVC is working to remove barriers of stigma and discrimination and to reduce the prevalence of HIV among the key populations. We take action to ensure increased access to services, to promote a human rights framework for policy and programmes at national and regional levels and to build the capacity of the most vulnerable populations for effective self-advocacy. 

Mission: “To mobilize the voice, visibility and participation of the diverse groups to impact the regional HIV response and to create an enabling environment by which to end the conditions and consequences of marginalization.   

Vision: “To advocate for and participate in regional responses to HIV and other social conditions based on human rights, programme effectiveness, and the reduction of vulnerability within a framework of evidence, social justice and sustainable health and development systems.” 



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