JIS News

A sum of $250 million has been allocated to the Jamaica HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Project, as set out in the 2006/07 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.
The objective of this project is to provide support for selected activities of the National HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan.
It also seeks to assist the government in curbing the spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, improving the treatment, care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS, and strengthen the nation’s capacity to respond to the epidemic.
For this fiscal year, the project has set out a number of targets. These include distributing two million condoms at different intervention sites and 14 STI clinics and improving the diagnostic capacity of the health system and the National Public Health Laboratory by providing essential equipment,which will reduce the turn around time for HIV testing by 70 per cent.
The project is also targeting half a million adults to be reached through four HIV/AIDS media awareness campaigns, and an additional 50,000 persons in inner cities and economically marginalized communities to be reached through specific HIV prevention activities.This is in addition to, establishing and maintaining a surveillance system and programme as well as providing waste disposal supplies for 51 health facilities.
So far, the project has achieved several targets. Some of these include the performance of 51,000 syphilis tests through the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) programme and also the provision of anti-retroviral medication and replacement feeding for a period of 6 months for 200 HIV positive mothers and 200 newborns.
Some 450,000 of the adult population have been reached through 4 HIV/AIDS media awareness campaigns, while 50,000 of the population in the inner cities and economically marginalized communities were reached through targeted HIV prevention activities.
The Government and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) have been funding the project since its inception in October 2001. It is expected that the project will be completed in June of this year.
Meanwhile, $4 million has been allocated for Project Inner City (FOCUS), geared towards the prevention and control of drug abuse.
This allocation is to continue the necessary establishment of infrastructure within five rural and urban communities, to develop self-sustained, integrated and demand reduction programmes as part of a concerted effort to effectively reduce the demand for drugs.
The provision is also to facilitate various workshops and to cover administrative expenses.