Sat | Sep 23, 2017

UNAIDS insists HIV cases up in Jamaica

Published:Wednesday | June 7, 2017 | 6:47 AM

The United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) is insisting that there has been an increase in HIV cases in Jamaica between 2010 and 2015.

Earlier this week, the UN special envoy on HIV to the Caribbean, Dr Edward Greene, revealed that the region has seen a nine per cent increase in new infections.

Greene cited Cuba and Jamaica as the two countries that have contributed the largest to the worrying increases.

But Jamaica’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Winston De La Haye has refuted the claim saying at this point, there is no reason to worry about any increase in the prevalence of HIV.

In a statement last evening UNAIDS acknowledged that the health ministry has noted that numbers reported to the Surveillance System show a decline in infections from 2014 to 2015.

It said the 2017 Estimates which will offer the latest modelled data cleared by both UNAIDS and the Government of Jamaica are currently being finalised.

However, it reiterated that the 2016 UNAIDS Prevention Gap Report indicated that the Caribbean as a whole experienced a nine per cent rise in the estimated number of HIV infections between 2010 and 2016.

UNAIDS said while this is largely attributable to increased numbers in Cuba, a smaller estimated increase was recorded in Jamaica over the six-year period.

It said Jamaica is one of 35 priority countries for the fast tracking of an HIV response in a global effort to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 under the Sustainable Development Goals.