Findings of UNGASS Indicators: A summary
Suriname is one of the four Caribbean countries which have reduced their HIV incidence by 25% in 2009. There were 3,700 people living with HIV with an adult HIV prevalence of 1.0%. There were for every 220 males, 100 females living with HIV. Out of the relevant 23 indicators for the country, 13 indicators have been reported on, resulting in 57% completeness. Key indicators related to the National AIDS Spending Assessment, young people, coverage of orphans and vulnerable children with support programmes or access to school and coverage of MARPs by prevention programmes are not reported on.
In the area of policy, the involvement of civil society is limited. Blood safety is ensured. In the programmatic area, ART coverage rate is 53% and 83% for PMTCT but only 60% of TB/HIV co-infections are taken care of. The 2009 survey data show that 59% MSW and 64% FSW have been tested for HIV but only 33% of them have the correct knowledge about HIV. Also a high level of condom use was reported among sex workers i.e. 98.4% during vaginal sex, 87% during anal sex and 94% during oral sex. Data indicate that no schools in Suriname have life-skills HIV education on their curriculum. The
HIV prevalence among young people has remained at 1% and the percentage of PLHIV on ART 12 months after initiation of therapy is 62%, which is below the WHO recommended 90% standard.
Key Issues Requiring Focus
- Scale-up antiretroviral treatment and PMTCT programmes.
- Sustain the high level of condom use among male and female sex workers.
- Increase knowledge about HIV transmission among MARPs.
- Increase life-skills HIV education among young people in school.
- Focus attention on men who have sex with men to document their access to prevention programmes.
- Involve the mining industry in the national response, and the mining population should benefit from prevention programmes as well as comprehensive workplace policies and programmes.
- Improve rapidly the quality of care for PLHIV to increase their life expectancy.
Firoz Abdoel Wahid
Focal Point Technical Unit, National AIDS Programme
WHAT IS THE AIDS SITUATION IN YOUR COUNTRY?
Suriname has a generalised epidemic with an estimated adult HIV prevalence of 1.1% (UNAIDS 2009). The average prevalence of HIV among pregnant women over the last five years is 1%, whereas the prevalence in the MARPs is significantly higher than the general adult population i.e. 6.7% among MSM in 2004, 7.2% among sex workers in brothels and 15.7% among street workers in 2009 (2010 UNGASS Report). Since 2007, there has been a steady decline in the number of newly registered HIV cases. According to the national surveillance reports, hospitalisation and mortality rates have been slightly decreasing since 2006. This is due to the increased access to antiretroviral treatment introduced in
TELL US WHAT IS THE BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT OF YOUR AIDS PROGRAMME?
The biggest achievement is the successful scale-up of people on HAART; three-fold since 2005 resulting in reduced AIDS-related deaths.
WHAT ARE THE SUCCESSES IN RESPONDING TO AIDS IN YOUR COUNTRY?
We have strengthened coordination through the establishment of a national multisectoral HIV board in 2009, with its Technical Working Groups on Prevention, Treatment and Care and Monitoring and Evaluation working from a National Strategic Plan and an M&E plan.
We have seen an increased governmental budget for the response to HIV with the establishment of the Center of Excellence on treatment and care in 2010 with access to early infant diagnosis; all treatment protocols were revised.
WHICH KEY POPULATION GROUPS WILL YOU KEEP THE FOCUS ON IN THE FUTURE?
The focus will be on men who have sex with men, male and female sex workers, young people, women, and people living in the interior and in the gold-mining areas.