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JIS News

With 43 new cases of HIV diagnosed in Portland since the start of this year, the Portland Health Department will be stepping up its education drive to sensitise residents about prevention measures.
Winston Lowe, Sexually Transmitted Contact Investigator at the Portland Health Department, in his address at a recent community meeting held at the Fair Prospect Primary School, said that the figure represented an increasing trend in the incidence of the disease since the first case was discovered in the island in 1988.
He said the amount of cases diagnosed in Portland has increased every year over the past 18 years, with 47 cases discovered last year.
Mr. Lowe noted that the figure could be even higher, as it was possible that a number of infected persons still remained undiscovered by the Health Department.Meanwhile, he told JIS News that the education drive would include community meetings and regular outreach activities, in addition to utilising peer educators to sensitise young people about the dangers of the disease.
That effort will be complemented by the work of the Portland AIDS Committee, which has been pursuing a number of activities in the parish aimed at alerting members of the public about the dangers of HIV/AIDS and to halt its spread.
The community meeting was sponsored by the Priestman’s River Benevolent Society in collaboration with the Port Antonio Regional Office of the Jamaica Information Service.