Day 3: 55th Directive Council Meeting of PAHO

The IFMSA delegation continued its work at the 55th Directive Council Meeting of the PAHO on Day 3. One of the key points of interest for our Federation during was the Plan of Action for the Prevention and Control of HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections 2016-2021.

The newly approved plan delineates the actions to be implemented by Member States and the Pan American Sanitary Bureau, according to their settings, needs and priorities, as they aim to enhance and expand the prevention and control of HIV and STIs in the Americas. It seeks to, by 2020, reduce new cases of HIV in the Region by 74%, decrease annual AIDS-related deaths by 62%, lower the proportion of children with HIV born to infected mothers from 7% to 2%, and ensure that no more than children per 10,000 live births are born with congenital syphilis. The plan also aims for a 5% reduction in new cases of cervical cancer caused by human papilloma virus (HPV), which is easily transmitted through sexual contact.

Moreover, it aims to achieve zero discrimination and other forms of barriers for the enjoyment of health-related human rights in a world where all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, HIV status, or disability, have timely access to quality HIV/STI prevention, care, and treatment, resulting in all people being able to live long and healthy lives throughout the life course(1).

We took part in the discussions, after the member states commented on their progress regarding HIV prevention and control in their own different contexts of health systems:

“We as a Federation have, for a long time emphasized and pushed forward strategies on zero tolerance towards ignorance-fueled stigma and discrimination in healthcare against those living with HIV, ?or any other STI and would like to congratulate the creation of the plan of action on these topics.

We also applaud the idea of tailoring service delivery to the needs of key populations but more than that we want to see that the education given to the future health providers is stigma free and we can become since the beginning of our medical formation in key agents to achieve our goal to End AIDS by 2030.

Let us be an active part of the solution and no mere spectators, help us by creating guidelines on how the topic of HIV and sexual transmitted infections should be addressed in all levels, including our medical education. We call the health ministries to take the lead in this topic since the very foundations, our education. Help us to be better, help us to do better.”

Victor Leal Garcia


  1. Pan American Health Organization. Plan of action for the prevention and control of HIV and sexually transmitted infections 2016-2021 [internet]. 55th Directing Council of PAHO, 68nd Session of the Regional Committee of WHO for the Americas; 2016 Sep26-Sep 30; Washington, DC. Washington, DC: PAHO; 2016 (Document CD55/14) [cited 2016 Sep 28]. Available from:

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