PANCAP News-in the caribbean

Jamaica is on the Fast-Track to ending its AIDS epidemic

 

12 November 2015

Representatives of Jamaica’s Ministry of Health have announced that they are confident that they will reach the UNAIDS 90–90–90 treatment target by 2020. The comments were made during a visit by the Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé, to Jamaica on 9 and 10 November.

 

The ministry representatives reported that seven in 10 people living with HIV in the country know their HIV status and that new HIV infections have decreased by 50% since 2000. They also highlighted that in the past decade Jamaica has achieved a 46% decline in AIDS-related deaths and an 8% decline in the rate of HIV transmission from mothers living with HIV to their babies.

 

Mr Sidibé said that if Jamaica keeps stepping up its response it will soon be able to eliminate mother-to-child transmission of HIV. He also stressed the importance of redoubling efforts to ensure that no one is left behind, particularly adolescent girls and men who have sex with men. He encouraged closer collaboration with civil society and an increase in investments.

 

Mr Sidibé said that the structural and social issues that increase the vulnerability of adolescent girls need to be addressed and that education and social protection will have a significant impact on reducing new HIV infections among young women and girls.

 

He also underscored the importance of ensuring access to HIV services for men who have sex with men as critical to ending the AIDS epidemic in Jamaica.

 

Noting that Jamaica has helped shape the regional approach to HIV, Mr Sidibé announced that UNAIDS, with the support of the Jamaican Government, is establishing a UNAIDS subregional hub in Jamaica to provide technical support and coordination for the AIDS response across the Caribbean.

 

During his visit, Mr Sidibé met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, A. J. Nicholson, and the current and former Ministers of Health, Horace Dalley and Fenton Ferguson.

 

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