|Adolescent males, still a priority for HIV Prevention|
|Friday, 10 February 2012 06:57|
Adolescent males are still a priority for HIV Prevention in Jamaica. Even though the National HIV/STI Programme’s 2010 HIV/AIDS epidemic update shows that the proportion of male to female AIDS cases has narrowed, males still account for a greater portion. In 2010, males accounted for 53.2% of reported AIDS cases while females accounted for 46.8%.
The 2008 Knowledge, Attitude, Practices and Behaviour (KAPB) survey indicated that multiple partnered males reported an average of 6 partners while females had an average 3 partners. Dr. Nicola Skyers, Acting Director of the National HIV/STI Programme indicated that “incidences of multiple partnerships are higher among young males 15 – 24 and the risk of HIV exacerbated by limited condom use”.
“It is with these figures in mind a commemorative event for Safer Sex Week was organized for Skateland Plaza, Linstead from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 under the theme Tek Charge, condoms (check), HIV test (check), less partners (check)” said Mrs. Sannia Sutherland, Director of Prevention. She also mentioned that the event, which will offer free HIV and syphilis testing, is targeting young males.
Mrs. Sutherland also indicated that Valentine’s Week provides an excellent opportunity for increasing HIV and other STI prevention messages. It was this awareness that led the National Programme to introduce Safer Sex Week in 1995 and strategically position same to include Valentine’s Day. Therefore, the thrust for increased condom usage, a reduction in partners and HIV testing is fitting.
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is primarily transmitted in Jamaica through sexual intercourse. There are approximately 32,000 persons living with HIV, half of which are unaware of their status.
Contact: MOH, Public Relations Unit Tel: 967-1561
You can view this press release and other information on our website at www.moh.gov.jm