HIV/AIDS Prevalence Stabilised in Region


The prevalence of HIV and AIDS has been stabilized in the Caribbean, with many countries of the region experiencing a decline in the number of cases.
Director of Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP), Carl Browne, credits his ten-year-old organization, and the support it has received from regional governments, for the achievement.
“We can go back to 2001, the prevalence of HIV in the Caribbean was about two point four percent (2 .4%), that is to say about 2 .4% of the adult population were infected with HIV. We have stabilized that epidemic, so that we are still about two percent (2%), but there are many countries that in fact have seen declines,” he stated.
Mr. Browne was responding to questions relating to the prevalence of the disease in the Caribbean, during a press conference at the close of the 15th Meeting of the Regional Coordinating Mechanism (RCM) of PANCAP, at the Hilton Resort and Spa, Montego Bay, on Friday (September).
He argued that there has been dramatic decline in transmission of the disease within some sub-groups in the region. He also made reference to transmission of the disease from mother to child, which he said has slipped from 35% in 2001 to five to six percent in 2010.
Although admitting that there is still a lot of work to be done, he said that there has been progress made in several areas, including that of prevention such as in the use of condoms.
He explained that there are a number of factors that would influence the results of the work of his organization, which would lead to varying results in different countries across the region. He pointed to factors such as size of the country and its population; the aggressiveness of programmes in different countries and the availability of treatment, among others.
Mr. Browne argued that PANCAP will not get complacent on its achievement, pointing out that when a strategic plan was done by that organization in 2008, the target then was to reduce the number of new infections across the region by 25%. He said that the organization is well on target with that plan, which will lead to a reduction in the number of infected persons.

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