A total of $259.94 million has been set aside in the 2012/13 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives, to fund the Jamaica HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Programme.
The programme aims to curb the spread of the HIV epidemic, improve treatment care and support for persons living with HIV/AIDS, and to strengthen Jamaica’s capacity to respond to the epidemic.
In terms of achievements, more than 30,000 pregnant women who attend antenatal clinics in the public sector were tested for HIV; Eighty Six per cent of HIV infected pregnant women and 97 per cent of HIV exposed infants received anti retroviral for prevention of mother to child transmission; media awareness campaigns held reaching more than one million adults; and Eighty Four percent of institutions reached and adopted HIV/AIDS policy.
Anticipated targets for 2012/13 include: maintaining HIV testing of over 90 per cent antenatal clinic attendees in the public sector; provision of comprehensive treatment counselling for 40,000 patients with sexually transmitted diseases; maintain surveillance system and programme; distribute four million condoms to different intervention sites; 50,000 youth and adolescents reached through prevention outreach activities; and provision of anti retroviral for the prevention of mother to child transmission to 85 per cent of HIV infected pregnant women and at least 90 per cent of HIV exposed infants.
The programme is funded by the Government of Jamaica and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
By Latonya Linton, JIS Reporter