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Jamaica on track to eliminate mother-to-child HIV

Jamaica on track to eliminate mother-to-child HIV

 

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) says Jamaica is on track to be among the first countries in the world to reach targets for the elimination of mother-to-child HIV transmission.

The country’s status will be confirmed later this month, once the Ministry of Health submits its country report to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), UNAIDS said in a release Tuesday.

Jamaica, according to the release, has demonstrated commitment to eliminate HIV among children through its leadership and investments.

UNAIDS reports that in 2004 the HIV transmission rate from mothers to children was 10 per cent and by 2012 the rate had dropped to below two per cent. The organisation attributes the success to the Government’s investments, improved collaboration between national, regional and international agencies, as well as partnerships involving the public health sector, private doctors, hospitals, and laboratories.

“Jamaica has made good progress, especially in the areas of the prevention of mother-to-child transmission and the availability and use of anti-retroviral drugs,” Minister of Health Dr Fenton Ferguson said.

“The Government is moving towards increased ownership of the HIV Programme and has put in place several initiatives towards this end. These include the integration of the National HIV/STI Programme with the National Family Planning Board to create one sexual reproductive health authority, the purchase of anti-retrovirals through the Government of Jamaica budget and undertaking a sustainability study of the national HIV programme,” he added.

This latest success joins other gains of the Jamaica AIDS response including a 43 per cent decline in AIDS-related deaths over the last decade and a 25 per cent reduction in new HIV infections, the release reported.

 

Read the article here: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Jamaica-on-track-to-eliminate-mother-to-child-HIV