$250 Million Earmarked for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Project

The Jamaica HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Project will receive $250 million as set out in the 2006/2007 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.
The objective of this project is to provide support for selected activities under the National HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan. It also seeks to assist the Government in curbing the spread of HIV/AIDS, improve 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 involve distributing two million condoms at different intervention sites and 14 Sexually Transmitted Infections (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 turnaround time for HIV testing by 70 per cent.
The project is also targeting 850,000 adults to be reached through four HIV/AIDS media awareness campaigns, and focusing on an additional 50,000 persons in inner cities and economically marginalized communities through specific HIV prevention activities.
Also under the programme, some 250 HIV positive mothers and 200 newborns of HIV positive women will be provided with anti-retroviral medication and replacement feeding for a period of six months. 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 (PMTC) programme, and the training of 200 health care workers in relevant areas of HIV management and prevention.
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the Government of Jamaica have been funding the project since its inception in October 2001. It is expected to end in December 2007.

JIS Social