Remember our responsibilities in the fight against HIV
THE WORLD has seen significant achievements in the fight against HIV in the last 15 years. However, HIV is still a major health and developmental concern for the region. According to the 2016 UNAIDS Prevention Gap Report, after years of steady progress, the Caribbean showed an increase of nine per cent in new HIV infections between 2010 and 2015. There were an estimated 9,000 new infections in the Caribbean in 2015.
Today, it is estimated that approximately 39,000 persons living in Jamaica are HIV positive, with less than half knowing their status. It must be noted that the highest increase in HIV infections in Jamaica is from within the 15-24 age group. This is a clear indication that our youth need our help. They need to be educated and guided in making the right choices and avoiding risky sexual behaviour.
Although HIV and AIDS is still a major concern for Jamaica, we have come a far way. Despite the challenges, we have been able to: Reduce the number of new infections among all age groups Reduce the number of infections in children and child deaths Reduce prevalence among sex workers Eliminate mother-to-child transmission; and
IIExpand antiretroviral coverage resulting in a reduction of AIDS-related deaths
I would like to take this opportunity to commend the non-governmental and civil society organisations, as well as our health care providers, on their ongoing efforts towards this cause. We could not have got