Big Boost for HIV/AIDS Treatment Programme


The HIV/AIDS Treatment, Prevention and Control Programme in Jamaica (Global Fund), has been allocated $374.6 million in the 2008/09 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.
This money will be used to further strengthen the multi-sector national response to prevent and address the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Jamaica. This will encompass completing and implementing policies and legislative framework specially addressing stigma and discrimination aimed at persons living with HIV/AIDS and vulnerable high-risk groups.
The project is being funded by the Global AIDS Fund and is being implemented by the Ministry of Health and Environment.
For this fiscal year, goals include: the integration of HIV/AIDS workplace issues into businesses and the public sector; appropriate redress of confirmed cases of dismissal due to HIV status; and, the development and implementation of database for discrimination reporting and redress.
Some 200,000 persons will be targeted through counselling and HIV testing, in addition to 5,000 adults and children with advanced HIV on Anti- retrovirals. Some 850 HIV exposed infants will receive Polymerase Chain reaction tests.
The project, which began in April 2004 and will end in May 2009, has attained several achievements, some of which involve important legislation and treatment and care. In terms of legislation, the National HIV/AIDS Policy was approved by Parliament and National HIV/AIDS Workplace policy approved by Cabinet.
On the matter of treatment and care, some 102 volunteer counsellors, 230 healthcare workers and 43 persons living with HIV/AIDS have been trained in adherence counselling and the provision of psychological support; anti-retrovirals have been distributed to 22 treatment sites and Drug Serv pharmacies; and 141,790 blood samples were tested for HIV, thereby exceeding an initial target of 130,000 samples.
Overall, 72 private companies, 12 government ministries and 247 schools continue to adopt and implement appropriate policies to address HIV/AIDS.

JIS Social