Findings of UNGASS Indicators: A summary
Only eight out of the 23 relevant UNGASS indicators were reported on in 2010; this represents 35% completeness. Among reported cases of AIDS, the male-to-female sex ratio is 2:1 with a cumulative total of 310 cases of HIV. The NASA report shows that USD 2.6 million was spent on AIDS during 2008-2009 and 91% was from domestic sources. The majority of resources went to programme management (85%) and the remaining 15% to prevention (5%) and treatment (10%). Blood safety is secured but laws and policy issues regarding prohibition of same sex acts and sex work exist. HIV prevalence among females 15-24 years old is 0.55%. Only 45% of schools are providing life-skills HIV education. No new population based data exist on MARPs and the general population. One hundred percent of PLHIV were still on ART 12 months after initiation of therapy.
Key Issues Requiring Focus
- Focus national attention on the removal of punitive and discriminatory laws.
- Reach out with quality services and programmes for key population groups such as men and especially men who have sex with men, female sex workers in the tourism sector and young people.
- Mobilise national efforts towards collection, analysis and use of new data on knowledge, behaviours, practices and beliefs to guide interventions among men who have sex with men, female sex workers, young people and the general population.
Allocate more HIV resources for prevention, advocacy and research.
National AIDS Programme Coordinator
St. Kitts and Nevis
WHAT IS THE AIDS SITUATION IN YOUR COUNTRY?
Since the epidemic was first identified in 1984, a cumulative total of 310 cases were reported to the Ministry of Health. Of this number, there were 143 males, 112 females and 55 whose sex was not recorded. The majority of cases occur in the 20 – 49 age group, although all age groups are affected.
TELL US WHAT IS THE BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT OF YOUR AIDS PROGRAMME?
A key achievement has been the increased number of persons who present themselves for voluntary counselling and testing at community outreach sessions. Prior to the advent of outreach testing, uptake was barely over 200. However, there has been a drastic increase with 1,577 persons accepting services in 2009.
WHAT ARE THE SUCCESSES IN RESPONDING TO AIDS IN YOUR COUNTRY?
Programme successes include the provision of first line and, to a limited extent, second line treatment for persons living with HIV. Additionally, the integration of HIV programming into primary health care has increased access and decreased stigma as persons are free to access health services without their HIV status being known to others.
WHICH KEY POPULATION GROUPS WILL YOU KEEP THE FOCUS ON IN THE FUTURE?
The key target populations under consideration for the future are women in vulnerable situations such as in gender unequal relationships, and low socio-economic situations. Youths are also considered as they are seen to be influential to work with their peers. These are in addition to those already identified, such as men who have sex with men and sex workers.