Govt’s Sustained Support For Persons With HIV/AIDS Hailed

Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson Coordinator of the Greater Involvement of Persons Living with HIV/AIDS (GIPA) programme at the National Family Planning Board (NFPB), Ainsley Reid, addresses a recent JIS Think Tank.

Story Highlights

  • The National Family Planning Board (NFPB) is hailing the Government’s commitment to enabling access to treatment for persons living with HIV/AIDS, despite resource constraints.
  • Mr. Reid, who was addressing a recent JIS Think Tank, noted that with about 32,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Jamaica, it is very difficult to sustain treatment access, especially in a time when there are great economic challenges.
  • “If we look at what is happening in some other countries, many of these services are being withdrawn or discontinued,” he pointed out.

The National Family Planning Board (NFPB) is hailing the Government’s commitment to enabling access to treatment for persons living with HIV/AIDS, despite resource constraints.

“We are very happy that the Government continues to support access to treatment because, around the world, many other governments are worried about their ability to continue treatment access to their population,” said Coordinator for the Greater Involvement of People living with HIV/AIDS (GIPA), Ainsley Reid.

Mr. Reid, who was addressing a recent JIS Think Tank,  noted that with about 32,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Jamaica, it is very difficult to sustain treatment access, especially in a time when there are great economic challenges.

“If we look at what is happening in some other countries, many of these services are being withdrawn or discontinued,” he pointed out.

As such, the GIPA Coordinator, who has been living with HIV for over 25 years, is calling for greater support and advocacy to enable access to less expensive drugs.

“We want to continue to buy into the global agenda that will see us getting medicines cheaper. We know that it is not easy but it is an important move to ensure that those of us who are on treatment will have sustained access,” he pointed out.

Mr. Reid noted that persons living with HIV/AIDS in Jamaica benefit from support provided by a multidisciplinary team including a nurse, doctor, social worker, adherents and counsellors, and believes it is important that this continues.

“Access to services is important to us because treatment is what keeps us alive. Treatment reduces the HIV levels and causes our immune system to become more functional, so we are happy about the quality of the HIV-related treatment that we get,” he told JIS News.

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