$63 Million for HIV/Aids Prevention and Control

A sum of $63.3 million has been earmarked for the Jamaica HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Project in the Ministry of Health and Environment in the 2008/09 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.
The allocation is for the provision of support for selected activities under the National HIV/AIDS Strategic Plan and assistance for the government in curbing the spread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic; improve the treatment; and care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS.
The project commenced in October 2001 and had an initial completion date in December 2007, but this has been extended until May 2008.
To date several activities have been facilitated under the project. Some 30,000 women visiting antenatal clinics in the public health sector were tested for HIV and approximately 400 HIV positive mothers and 350 infants exposed to the virus received anti-retrovirals for prevention of Mother to Child Transmission.
Of profound importance, has been the drafting and circulation of the National Strategic Plan 2007 to 2012 and the hosting of workshops for training 200 healthcare workers in the treatment and prevention of HIV.
Some 13 sub projects to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and community based organizations (CBOs) were also approved through the HIV/AIDS Demand Driven Sub Projects.
The project also boasted serious media awareness campaigns which reached more than a million adults. In addition, an estimated 40,000 persons received comprehensive treatment, counselling and testing at sexually transmitted infection (STI) treatment sites.
The National Public Health Laboratory also received attention as its diagnostic capacity was greatly improved.
For this year, the activities will include targeting a million adults through prevention outreaches and distributing some two million condoms at different intervention sites.
The venture is funded by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, with the Ministry of Health and Environment acting as the implementing agency.

JIS Social