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Slight increase in the number of HIV / AIDS cases in Jamaica in 2018



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Almost 1,200 new HIV / AIDS cases were diagnosed in Jamaica last year, as the number of people throughout the island that lived with the disease amounted to 26,426.

This caused the prevalence of HIV / AIDS in the country to reach 1.8% of the general population, up to 1.7 of 2017.

The figures are in 2018 Economic and social survey Jamaica published by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) and presented to Parliament on Tuesday.

He noted that 621, or 52% of the 1,197 new HIV / AIDS cases registered in Jamaica last year were men, and people in the 20 to 39 age group represented the highest proportion.

They have found more women who live with HIV / AIDS in the age group between the ages of 20 and 29, while men dominated the group from 30 to 39 years old.

The PIOJ noted that the national response to HIV continues to work to achieve the "90-90-90" treatment goals of the World Health Organization by 2020, where 90% of seropositive people should know his state; 90% of those diagnosed should be treated with antiretrovirals (ARV); and 90% of people with ARV should be virally suppressed.

Until now, Jamaica has achieved that around 78 percent of the estimated number of people living with HIV have been diagnosed, while 37 percent of this total is receiving treatment.

But only 47% of people living with HIV are treated by ARVs and only 56.0 percent are virally suppressed.

The National Unit of HIV / STI / Tb began to use the "Test and Start" approach as a strategy to achieve the 90-90-90 treatment goals in January 2017.

According to the PIOJ, although Jamaica has successfully increased access to treatment and care services, the analysis of data related to retention has shown an increase in follow-up among patients in antiretroviral therapy.

Regarding care, 75.0% of patients diagnosed have been linked to care, and 62.0% have maintained their care amongst those linked. Of the people who are kept on shelter, 95.0 percent corresponds to ARV, but only 52.0 percent is suppressed virally

The PIOJ said that there is now an emphasis on closing the deficiencies in relation to loss of follow-up and viral suppression at all sites and this process will continue.

Failure to adhere to treatment and care has been identified as a barrier to further reducing AIDS morbidity and mortality.

Through the island, men experienced a direct and indirect mortality of AIDS compared to women and a greater percentage of deaths occurred between the ages of 40 and 59.

Jamaica's strategic / policy priorities for HIV are guided by the National Strategic Strategic Plan (NISP) for sexual and reproductive health 2014-2019.

The NISP is consolidated around five priority areas with associated interventions, actions and key results.

It is about the prevention and dissemination of sexual and reproductive health; universal access to treatment, care and support and services; propitious environment and human rights; monitoring and evaluation of HIV, family planning and responses to sexual health and sustainability, governance and leadership.

Last year, Jamaica's efforts to address the HIV / AIDS problem were driven by support from international partners, including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which provided $ 7.6 million USA ($ 985.9 million) in the Ministry of Health for the national response to HIV. .

The US agency has also donated $ 3 million (US $ 389.2 million) to Jamaica's Health Policy Plus project, which aims to strengthen the promotion to reduce the spread of HIV and improve the Access to HIV / AIDS programs and services.

USAID also provided help for an amount of US $ 1.8 million ($ 233.5 million) for the LINKAGES project that aims to address the gaps in the HIV services and responses network by strengthening community outreach, HIV testing and counseling and linkage with care and treatment services.

The Global Fund to fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria also provided a grant that supported the implementation of the national HIV / AIDS program, focusing on the reduction of AIDS-related morbidity and mortality with interventions Effective and supportive biomedicals.

A total of 4.0 million US dollars (518.9 million US dollars) was disbursed compared to 5.2 million US dollars (674.5 million US dollars) in 2017.

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