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St. Lucia

Submitted by unaidsadmin on Wed, 2012-01-11 16:05 - 0 Comments

Findings of UNGASS Indicators: A summary
Ten out of the 23 relevant UNGASS indicators were reported on, representing 43% completeness. A cumulative number of 760 HIV cases were reported since the inception of the epidemic. The 2009 HIV data show that the maleto-female sex ratio is 1.4:1. There was no NASA data, and in terms of policy, work has been done to improve the workplace environment, but laws exist which prohibit and discriminate against same sex relationships and sex work.
Overall blood safety is secured and from 78 PLHIV on ART in 2007, there were 124 in 2009 (a 59% increase). All TB/HIV co-infections were treated and 100% of PLHIV were on ART 12 months after initiation of therapy. Eighty-three percent of orphans and vulnerable children received care and 100% of them attended school. Unfortunately there was a drop in the number of schools which provide life-skills HIV education from 93% in 2007 to 59% in 2009.
PMTCT screening has helped identify eight HIV positive pregnant women who were put on ART to reduce mother-to-child transmission. Data on MARPs were not collected under UNAIDS standards, were not representative and therefore cannot be used.

Key Issues Requiring Focus

  • Give priority attention to the collection, analysis and use of strategic information among the general population and vulnerable groups. This shortcoming needs urgent attention.
  • Focus the national response on men who have sex with men, male and female sex workers and crack cocaine users.
  • Focus attention on young people because data from 2005 surveys show they should be targeted by the national response to increase the age of first sexual intercourse.
  • Develop urgently a new National Strategic Plan and M&E framework to guide the national response.
  • Mobilise more national resources to respond to HIV and ensure sustainability.
     

Nahum Jean Baptiste
National AIDS Programme Coordinator
St. Lucia

WHAT IS THE AIDS SITUATION IN YOUR COUNTRY?
The first case of AIDS was reported in 1985 and since then, to the end of June 2010, a cumulative total of 760 cases were reported; of these 312 have died. Among people living with HIV in 2009, for every 108 men there were 100 women. Regarding age distribution, 8% of PLHIV were under age 15, 12% were aged 15 to 24 and 80% of cases older than 25 years. Fifty percent of HIV cases have no clear reported route of transmission. Progress was accomplished in the area of treatment and prevention of mother-to-child transmission. A total number of 239 people living with HIV are registered into care, among them 95 are on ART with 12 on second line treatment.

TELL US WHAT IS THE BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT OF YOUR AIDS PROGRAMME?
Reduction in deaths from AIDS-related illnesses in the past five years due to broader access to antiretroviral treatment.

WHAT ARE THE SUCCESSES IN RESPONDING TO AIDS IN YOUR COUNTRY?
Since 2006 there have been no recorded cases of MTCT among registered clients. There is an increase in the enrolment of HIV positive clients into care and treatment programmes because of scaling-up of HIV testing and clinic access in six sites, and there is a greater involvement of Civil Society Organisations.

WHICH KEY POPULATION GROUPS WILL YOU KEEP THE FOCUS ON IN THE FUTURE?
Specifically the focus will be on MARPs i.e. sex workers, men who have sex with men and crack cocaine users.

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.