HIV/AIDS Treatment Programme gets $417.7 Million


A sum of $417.7 million has been earmarked in the 2007/08 Estimates of Expenditure for the HIV/AIDS Treatment, Prevention and Control Programme in the Ministry of Health.
Funded through a grant from the Global AIDS Fund, the programme seeks to strengthen the multi-sector national response to prevent and address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Jamaica.
This will be achieved by beefing up efforts to provide antiretroviral drugs to children and adults living with HIV and AIDS, and promoting safer sex practices, including abstinence, especially among vulnerable groups.
The programme also seeks to complete and implement policies and put a legislative framework in place to address stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS, and vulnerable high-risk groups.
So far, the programme boasts a number of achievements since its inception in 2004. A total of 98,505 blood samples have been tested for HIV, thereby meeting 98 per cent of the 100,000 target for blood samples tested, while 1,919 adults and 161 children have been put on antiretroviral treatment and have received counselling.
Approximately 59,383 young people have been exposed to Health and Family Life Education interventions and 1,714 youth peer counsellors trained by sub-recipients, surpassing the target of 30.
Additionally, some 68,225 condoms and 16,984 lubricants have been distributed island wide as part of prevention activities, while 2,830 non-traditional condom outlets have been established. Draft policies to address HIV/AIDS were developed for 50 private sector companies, 11 line ministries, and 149 schools. For this year, the programme expects to test 62,100 more persons for HIV and put 2,000 individuals on anti retroviral drugs, in addition to distributing 10,000 condoms and lubricants.
Also for the period, some 1,700 people living with HIV/AIDS will receive adherence counseling, and 12 treatment centres will be equipped with counsellors.
There are also plans to adopt the National Policy on HIV/AIDS and also take its message to the population through advertising campaigns.

JIS Social