The Ministry of Health’s programme to reduce new HIV infections among key populations has been boosted through a $758 million allocation for 2018/19.
The provision has been made in the Estimates of Expenditure, which is now before the House of Representatives.
The allocation, under the ‘Support to the National HIV/AIDS Response in Jamaica’ project, will enable the Ministry to develop and implement a joint civil society advocacy plan; conduct situational analysis for the evaluation of services at nine healthcare facilities; and implement measures aimed at addressing stigma and discrimination.
It will also provide for enrollment of at least 16,500 adults and children in antiretroviral therapy; reach 11,180 female sex workers (FSW) with HIV prevention programmes; and provide HIV testing for 8,000 FSW.
In addition, some 14,000 men who have sex with men (MSM) and 4,000 transgender persons (TG) will benefit from HIV protection progrmmes; while HIV testing and test results will be provided for 11,000 MSM and 3, 600 TG persons.
The programme, which is jointly funded by the Government of Jamaica and the Global Fund, seeks to reduce AIDS-related morbidity and mortality, through effective interventions for targeted populations.
Up to December 2017, over 25,000 persons were reached through prevention programmes, testing, and antiretroviral therapy.