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JIS News

The marked success achieved by Jamaica in the treatment and care of HIV/AIDS has caught the interest of other Caribbean nations.
This has led to a five-day study tour now underway by the Caribbean Coalition of National AIDS Programme Coordinators (CCNAPC), to learn more about our best practices.
The group comprises persons designated by the country or territory who are actively engaged in directing their country or territory’s HIV/AIDS response.
In Jamaica, the main activity will be the joint hosting of a five-day Best Practice Intervention Workshop by the CCNAPC and the Jamaica National HIV/STI Programme (NHP) in the Ministry of Health, June 21-25 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.
The five-day workshop aims to strengthen the capacity of those responsible for the development and implementation of prevention programmes for populations at risk for HIV.
Participants will be exposed to best practice interventions and programmes of cultural relevance that can be replicated within their respective territories. It is anticipated that, at the end of the five days, they will be able to more effectively and efficiently deliver HIV prevention services to most at risk persons (MARPS).
There are also plans to establish a network which provides ongoing support, in order to ensure the sustainability of programmes and interventions. The group will also be visiting HIV treatment facilities that provide care services and prevention interventions for most at risk persons (MARPS).
Registering his support of the study tour, Director of the National HIV/STI Programme in Jamaica, Dr. Kevin Harvey, explained that “it is imperative that ideas and innovations are shared for a united front in the fight against HIV/AIDS.”
Highlighting Jamaica’s success, Dr. Harvey, in a release issued by the Ministry of Health, noted that the implementation of Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) in 2004 included the routine testing of antenatal clinic attendees and provision of antiretrovirals (ARV).
This resulted in HIV testing of more than 90 per cent of pregnant women and prophylaxis or ARV treatment of 84 per cent of HIV infected mothers in 2007. The number of new paediatric AIDS cases experienced a drastic reduction from 73 cases in 2006 to 27 in 2007.