JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Global Fund has approved US$15 million in funding for the National HIV/STI programme for next three years - 2016-2018.
  • In addition, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has also approved an investment of US$5 million for 2015/2016.
  • The funds will be used to provide support geared at reaching those most at risk of becoming HIV infected, as well as those who are already infected, through the provision of treatment, care and support services.

The Global Fund has approved US$15 million in funding for the National HIV/STI programme for next three years – 2016-2018.

In addition, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has also approved an investment of US$5 million for 2015/2016.

The funds will be used to provide support geared at reaching those most at risk of becoming HIV infected, as well as those who are already infected, through the provision of treatment, care and support services.

Speaking at a press briefing, held at the Terra Nova Hotel on July 13, Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, thanked the funding organisations for their support of the national effort to fight the prevalence of HIV and AIDS among the Jamaican population.

He informed that the National HIV/STI Programme has made significant strides over the years in achieving a 42 per cent decline in new infections.

“I am also proud to note that we are on track to meet the regional elimination goal of less than two per cent mother to child transition of HIV,” he said.

Dr. Ferguson pointed out that there has been a reduction in AIDS deaths by 43 per cent in 2010 compared to 2004 when the antiretroviral therapy (ART) access programme began.

However, he said the country continues to face challenges with respect to the prevalence rate among the vulnerable population.

“While we have a prevalence rate of 1.8 per cent among the general population, female sex workers have a prevalence rate of 4.2 per cent; young men under 25 years who have sex with men are at 24.3 per cent as at 2013, and adult men who have sex with men have a prevalence rate of 32 per cent,” Dr. Ferguson noted.

He added that the Government is committed to stamping out stigma and discrimination towards persons living with HIV and AIDS, as part of the country’s quest to achieving justice in health.

For her part, Fund Portfolio Manager, Global Funds for Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Miss Giulia Perrone, said the funding is a tangible demonstration of the Global Fund’s commitment to the citizens of Jamaica.

“This US$15million is in addition to the US$66 million that the Global Fund has disbursed to Jamaica since 2014 and this has provided vital support to the population at risk and people living with the disease,” Miss Perrone said.

She also welcomed the provision of funding through PEPFAR, which is to be used to reach those most at risk of becoming HIV infected.

“What made this day so special for me is that we are here with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which is one of our main partners in the fight against HIV, and that we are working together,” Miss Perrone said.

“We want to make sure that all our resources are well coordinated and we do not duplicate and we can reach the highest number of people through this joint collaboration,” she added.

Meanwhile, Mission Director, USAID, Denise Herbol, said the funding provided by PEPFAR will be used to support key populations, reduce stigma and discrimination of vulnerable groups, and support the Monitoring and Evaluation of the HIV/STI programme.

“USAID, through PEPFAR, remains steadfast in our commitment to assist the government and people of Jamaica achieving an aids free generation. By working together at all these levels, we can support a strong functioning health system with country ownership and sustainability, and reach our mission goal of ‘zero’,” Miss Herbol said.