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Jamaica

Submitted by unaidsadmin on Wed, 2012-01-11 15:47 - 0 Comments

Findings of UNGASS Indicators: A summary
The adult HIV prevalence is 1.7% and there were 32,000 PLHIV in 2009 in Jamaica. There were for every 190 males, 100 females living with HIV. Among the 23 relevant indicators there was 70% completeness in reporting.
No information was submitted regarding NASA. The policy report suggests limited involvement of civil society organisations and the existence of punitive laws on same sex relationships and solicitation. Blood safety is secured, ART coverage is 46% and the PMTCT coverage is between 46% and
95%. It is estimated that 20% of adult males and 35% of adult females have been tested and know their results. This is an increase from 12% and 19% respectively in 2007. It is reported that 73% of FSW and 53% of MSM are tested for HIV. In Jamaica, 44% of schools provide life-skills HIV education.
Among young people, 38% of males and 43% of females have comprehensive knowledge of HIV prevention and 57% of males and 16% of females have initiated sex before age 15. This latter is a 19% increase among males when compared to 2007 when the percentage was at 48%. Among adult males 62% and 17% of adult females reported having had more than one sex partner in the past 12 months; this is an increase among both sexes when compared to 2007 (48% males and 11% females). Condom use for these adults was 65% among males and 52% for females. Among female sex workers, 97% reported use of a condom during last sexual intercourse with a client while among
MSM this was 73% during their last anal intercourse with a male partner. The HIV prevalence among young females declined slightly from 1.3% in 2007 to 1.0% in 2009. Among female sex workers, the HIV prevalence was 5.5% in
2009. The proportion of PLHIV on ART after 12 months of initiation of therapy was 92%, an improvement compared to 88% in 2007. Jamaica is among the countries around the world which have reduced their HIV incidence by 25% in 2009.

Key Issues Requiring Focus

  • Prioritise interventions based on epidemiological data on the following key population groups: men who have sex with men, female sex workers, young people (essentially males), populations living in depressed areas and crack cocaine users.
  • Scale-up treatment services and consolidate PMTCT programmes.
  • Address cross-cutting issues such as gender and the removal of punitive laws against same sex relationships and solicitation.
  • Address issues surrounding poverty and inequitable distribution of wealth.
  • Develop strategies to achieve sustainability of the national HIV response including mobilisation of internal resources and implementation of policies to support decentralised and integrated HIV services.

Kevin Harvey
National AIDS Programme Manager
Jamaica

WHAT IS THE AIDS SITUATION IN YOUR COUNTRY?
It is estimated that in 2009, 1.7% of the Jamaican adult population was HIV infected, with no significant change over the last decade. There are, however, features of concentrated pockets of higher prevalence among most-at-risk populations where the HIV prevalence for men who have sex with men is 32%; for female sex workers it is 5% and for crack cocaine users 3.3%.

TELL US WHAT IS THE BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT OF YOUR AIDS PROGRAMME?
Testing programmes resulted in 95% coverage among pregnant women in 2009. The provision of ART reduced mother-to-child transmission of HIV to below 5% in 2009 from 25% in 2002. There was also a 19% decline in paediatric AIDS between 2008 and 2009 with 32 cases reported in 2008 compared to 26 cases in 2009.

WHAT ARE THE SUCCESSES IN RESPONDING TO AIDS IN YOUR COUNTRY?
An 18% decline in HIV/AIDS cases was reported annually between 2006 and 2009. Reported cases peaked in 2006 at 2121 compared to 1738 cases in 2009. In 2009, about 378 AIDS deaths were reported, accounting for a 43 % decline when compared to 665 persons who died in 2004 (first year of public access to antiretroviral treatment).

WHICH KEY POPULATION GROUPS WILL YOU KEEP THE FOCUS ON IN THE FUTURE?
The focus will be maintained on the most-at-risk populations including the following: heterosexual males with multiple partners, men who have sex with men, STI clinic attendees, sex workers and their clients, in and out-of-school youths between the ages of 10-19, prison inmates, crack-cocaine users and homeless persons, persons living with HIV, residents of high-risk/high-prevalence communities and tourism workers.

About the Author

unaidsadmin's picture

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.