Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Dalley wants review of HIV/AIDS target implementation gap

Published:Monday | November 30, 2015 | 11:00 AM
Seven-year-old Kiarra Mais (left) and her four-year-old sister Shanke Mais sing from a hymn book during the World AIDS Day 2015 National Church Service held yesterday at First Missionary Church in Kingston.
Four-year-old Shanke Mais (left) watches as her older sister, Kiarra Mais (right), is pinned by Dr Denise Chevannes, executive director, National Family Planning Board, just before the start of the World AIDS Day 2015 national church service at the First Missionary Church in Kingston yesterday.
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Health Minister Horace Dalley is calling for a review of the gaps that could hinder Jamaica from meeting its HIV-AIDS targets.

In a World AIDS Day message delivered by Dr Denise Chevannes, executive director of the National Family Planning Board, Dalley noted that Jamaica would need to begin scaling up its HIV services if it is to meet the set targets.

"Jamaica, among other countries, is charged with the ambitious goal of the fast-track approach to accelerate action to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 ... . We, therefore, need to aggressively review our implementation gaps and systems that pose a threat to reaching the targets," he said in his written speech, delivered during the World AIDS Day National Church Service held yesterday at the First Missionary Church in Kingston.

It is estimated that 1.6 per cent of the adult population (27,000 persons) is HIV infected, with approximately 50 per cent of persons unaware of their status and not accessing appropriate services.

In 2007, 1,104 persons with advanced HIV (595 males and 509 females) were reported compared to 1,186 in 2006.

Of these 1,104 persons, 781 were diagnosed with AIDS, compared to 1,112 in 2004. This represents a 30 per cent decline in AIDS cases and is largely because of increased access to treatment.