The government will be strengthening the national response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic for the 2012/13 fiscal year.
To this end, $743.6 million has been provided in the Estimates of Expenditure, which is now before the House of Representatives, for the Scaling Up to Provide Universal Access for HIV Treatment, Care and Prevention Service (Global Fund II) Project.
The project, which got underway in August 2008, aims to strengthen multi-sector national response to prevent and address HIV/AIDS through consolidating existing gains, while scaling up services to reduce the transmission of new HIV infections and mitigate the impact.
Under the project to date, 492 children and 8,675 adults have benefitted from anti-retroviral treatment; 5,672 adolescents and 20,064 youth reached with HIV prevention messages and interventions in out-of-school settings; 528 inmates reached in all adult correctional institutions through HIV intervention programmes; 12,269 voluntary counselling and testing conducted; and 58,384 CD4 tests done according to guidelines.
Anticipated targets for the new fiscal year include the delivery of behavioural change communication to approximately 500,000 in-school youth in health and family life education; prevention activities for approximately 4,000 commercial sex workers, 3,500 men, who have sex with men (MSM) and 1,000 inmates; provision of testing and counselling; while approximately 8,500 men, women, and children with advanced HIV, are to benefit from anti-retroviral drugs.
By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporter