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Guyana

Submitted by unaidsadmin on Wed, 2012-01-11 15:32 - 0 Comments

Findings of UNGASS Indicators: A summary

In 2009, the adult HIV prevalence was 1.2% in Guyana. The country reported on 18 out of the 23 relevant UNGASS indicators, a rate of 78% completeness.
Between 2001 and 2009, there was a 24% reduction in the number of PLHIV (from 7,800 in 2001 to 5,900 in 2009) and a 14% reduction in adult HIV prevalence (from 1.4% to 1.2%). New HIV infections and AIDS related deaths were kept below 500 during that period. There were for every 100 males, 100 females living with HIV. There was no NASA report and in the area of policy, there are laws against same sex relationships and sex work. The collaboration with civil society organisations needs strengthening and protective laws are needed for PLHIV and sexual minorities. Guyana achieved successes in sustained 100% blood screening and in the provision of ART where more than 95% of PLHIV who needed treatment were on it. For PMTCT, the coverage rate was between 88% and more than 95%. In the area of TB/HIV co-infection, 94% received treatment for both. In the general population, 22% of males and 27% of females received an HIV test and know their result while this was 88% among FSW and 87% among MSM in 2009. Information on social support for orphans and vulnerable children is missing and 62% of schools provided life-skills HIV education to children. Only 46% of young people have comprehensive knowledge about HIV transmission, compared with 35% for FSW and 47% for MSM. Among young people, 19% of males and 10% of females have had sex before the age of 15; this represents a slight increase compared to 2006-2007 (males: 13% and females: 9%). The percentage of adults having multiple sex partners remains the same; 10% for males and 1% for females. And the level of condom use among adults was 65% for males and 48% for females. The level of condom use among female sex workers has declined from 81% in 2007 to 61% in 2009 but slightly increased among MSM from 81% in 2007 to 84% in 2009. HIV prevalence among young females remained the same 1% in 2007 and 1.11% in 2009. The proportion of PLHIV on ART 12 months after initiation was 72%, which is below the WHO standards and needs improvement.

Key Issues Requiring Focus

  • Sustain gains made in the area of blood safety, antiretroviral treatment and PMTCT.
  • Improve the quality of care of PLHIV as a matter of urgency.
  • Focus national attention on issues facing men who have sex with men, female sex workers, and also young people and the mining population.
  • Address issues relating to women and girls, and gender in general.
  • Remove punitive laws against same sex relationships and sex work.

Shanti Singh-Anthony
Manager , National AIDS Programme
Secretariat , Guyana

What is the AIDS situation in your country?
In 1987 the first HIV case was diagnosed. Guyana’s response at that time was a medical one. This however quickly grew into a multi-sectoral response to HIV led by the Presidential Commission on HIV and AIDS. The country reported higher adult prevalence in the early 2000’s, but there has been a reversal of that trend, with antenatal prevalence dropping from 5.6% in 2000 to 1.55% in 2006. A similar picture is found with PMTCT where HIV prevalence of 3.1% in 2003 dropped to 1.1% in 2009. Prevalence is also down among FSW from 45% to, 26% to 16.6% in 1997, 2004 and 2009 respectively; MSM from 21.1% to 19.4% in 2004 and 2009 respectively, and miners from 6.5% to 3.9% from 2000 to 2004.
Guyana reported an adult prevalence of 1.2% at the end of 2009.

Tell us what is the biggest achievement of your AIDS programme?
Our prevention of mother-to-child transmission programme stands out as a significant achievement in the HIV response with rapid growth from the inception in the early 2000’s to 157 PMTCT sites across all ten administrative regions of Guyana at the end of 2009.
There is an 89.8% HIV testing acceptance rate and 95.8% of HIV positive women are receiving a complete course of ARVs for the PMTCT.

What are the successes in responding to AIDS in your country?
Our ART programme that was initiated in 2002 was providing treatment at the end of 2009 to 83.5% of adults and children with advanced HIV infection; it expanded from one treatment site in 2002 to 16 across all 10 administrative regions. There is a National Public
Health Reference Laboratory with state-of-the art diagnostic capabilities that provides CD4 count and viral load testing for all HIV patients. The supply chain management system has been modernised with a state-of-the art warehouse management system.

Which key population groups will you keep the focus on in the future?
Guyana will continue to work with the general population and with groups such as: men who have sex with men, female sex workers, youth (in and out of school), women, prisoners and the mobile population.

About the Author

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The UNAIDS team offers the Caribbean the broad expertise of cosponsors and other UN organisations in areas such as program development and management, women and child health, education, legal networking, community care initiatives and resource mobilisation. The goal is an expanded response to HIV in the region with the world’s second highest HIV prevalence.