380 people infected with HIV/AIDS since 1987
Nearly 380 people have been infected with the deadly HIV/AIDS virus since it was first detected in Dominica in 1987, according to official figures released here.
The Global AIDS Report 2012, prepared by the National HIV and AIDS Response Programme Secretariat, indicates last year there were 15 new cases, with four pending confirmation.
The report quoted the Health Information Unit (HIU) as saying 143 people died from the disease between 1987 to 2011 and that there "has been a decrease in the HIV-related mortality rate since 2005 as compared to previous years".
"Five of the deaths document in 2011 were persons who had not accessed treatment, care and support services."
The report noted that the promotion of early treatment will be scaled up over the coming months and that Dominica "continues to see more males testing positive for HIV, as well as the productive population". The 25-49 age group remains the most affected.
The report notes that given the ratio of men to women in the context of the Dominica epidemic, the plans are to continue to target workplaces that have more men in their employ.
"Additionally, sports clubs and male dominated community groups will be targeted. A programme is being designed to reach these groups," the report said, noting that testing and counselling services continues to be an integral part of the services offered to the general population and other most at risk populations. It said that last year a total 6,257 HIV tests were performed nationally with 3,897 females and 2,360 males tested.