U.S. Embassy awards grants to fight HIV/AIDS in Suriname

The U.S. Embassy in Paramaribo is supporting HIV/AIDS testing and education to help improve and extend the lives of Surinamese carriers of the diseases.  The Embassy awarded HIV/AIDS-related grants to two organizations on Tuesday, September 17.

“It is important for us all to remember that the global AIDS response is a shared responsibility, one that cannot be met by one nation alone, nor solved purely by government action,” U.S. Ambassador to Suriname Karen Lynn Williams said during a grant signing ceremony at the U.S. Embassy.  “We must work together — governments, NGOs and individuals.  Together in partnership we can continue to make progress and ensure no one is stigmatized, targeted, or mistreated because of HIV or AIDS, that no one is too afraid to get tested, and that we compassionately care for all those afflicted and their families.”

The grants are funded through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief – also known as PEPFAR.  Since 2010, PEPFAR has provided small grants to organizations in the Caribbean to combat HIV/AIDS.

This year, the U.S. Embassy in Suriname was able to award two grants.  The Surinamese Business Coalition Against HIV & AIDS will work with businesses to decrease the stigma and discrimination around the issue in the workplace.  The Foundation Double Positive will develop media messaging to promote HIV/AIDS testing.

“HIV and AIDS are not a problem for others,” Ambassador Williams said.  “It is not a problem that afflicts one group and not another.  It is a disease that could infect any human being.  But it is also a disease, the spread of which can be slowed through awareness, discussion, prevention, and testing.  Thank you to our partners for all you do to ensure that happens.”