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New campaign coming to boost awareness among people who don't know their HIV status

Published:Sunday | November 29, 2015 | 12:00 AM

The Jamaican government is to launch a new campaign to increase awareness among citizens living with HIV but do not know their status.

According to the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), as many as 50 per cent of people who are HIV positive are not aware that they are infected.

Delivering an address on behalf of Health Minister Horace Dalley at a church service to mark World Aids Day this morning, Dr Denise Chevannes, executive director of the National Family Board (NFB), said a media campaign will be launched to support efforts to increase awareness  to at least 90 per cent among people living with HIV and do not know in another five years.

World Aids Day will be observed on Tuesday, December 1. 

Chevannes says Jamaica and other Caribbean countries are on course to quickly end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030. She says much will be done to rapidly scale up HIV prevention services in the next few years. Those activities will include increasing rights-based approaches and focusing prevention programmes on communities and groups which are vulnerable.

Chevannes says Jamaica and the Caribbean continue to make notable gains in the fight against HIV and AIDS, although the Caribbean remains the second most affected region with a 1.1 per cent prevalence rate.

She says the prevalence rate among the adult population in Jamaica has remained stable at 1.8 per cent.

The NFB head says Jamaica has seen a 42 per cent decrease in new infections and is on course to halt and reverse the spread of HIV. According to her, the country will also reach the regional goal of reducing the spread of infection from mother to children to less than two per cent.