The first case of HIV was diagnosed in the Caribbean in 1982 and as a result all Caribbean countries on the technical advice of PAHO/WHO/CAREC established National AIDS Programmes with emphasis on six (6) target areas. Namely: (1) Epidemiology and Surveillance, (2) Programme Management, (3) Prevention of Perinatal Transmission, (4) Prevention of Sexual Transmission, (5) Reduction of the impact on HIV on individuals, communities and societies, and (6) Prevention of transmission through blood and blood products.

Between 1993 - 1995, countries received assistance from the Global Programme on AIDS (GPA) to plan and implement their national Medium Term HIV/AIDS prevention and control programmes. This major activity was coordinated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) with technical assistance from the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (CAREC).

During this period, the Caribbean Programme focused heavily on prevention with  less attention given to care and support of persons living with HIV/AIDS. The prevention approach attempted to provide information on awareness of the disease, its mode of transmission and healthy lifestyle practices to the greater number of presumably uninfected persons. It was further envisioned that information provided would empower individuals to make informed decisions and prevent stereotyping, stigmatization and  negative reactions and attitudes to those infected. The outcome of these programmes varied from country to country, but in general, KABP studies indicated high knowledge levels of the aetiology of the disease, transmission routes and prevention measures. However, condom use was noted to be inconsistent and personal vulnerability minimal.

The Global Programme on AIDS was succeeded by the United Nations Joint Programme on AIDS (UNAIDS), which ushered in a new dimension of the process of planning and management. The focus turned to strategic planning on a wider basis with sustainability of programmes as an essential ingredient. Based on this approach, the UN AIDS Caribbean Programme Office was established. Information has filtered down from the regional programme level to the national level and resulted in the review and analysis of the HIV/AIDS situation in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines with the ultimate goal of positioning the national programme for an expanded response to strategic planning.