Month: November 2011

Continued Decrease in AIDS Related Deaths

The 2010 HIV/AIDS epidemic update indicates that there is continued decrease in AIDS related deaths and cases among the adult population from 665 reported deaths in 2004 to 333 in 2010. This represents a 50% decrease in annual AIDS deaths since the inception of universal access to anti-retroviral (ARV) medication in 2004. Dr. Nicola Skyers, Acting Director, National HIV/STI Programme, states that the results can be ascribed to the improvement in the monitoring, treatment, care and support of persons living with HIV (PLHIV).

The National HIV/STI Programme’s 2010 HIV/AIDS epidemic update also shows a narrowing of the proportion of male to female AIDS cases. In 2010, males accounted for 53.2% of reported AIDS cases while females accounted for 46.8%. Although male cases continue to outnumber female cases, the gap has lessened in comparison to 2008 where male AIDS cases stood at 56.7% and 43.2% for females.

Dr. Skyers adds that “females account for the majority of cases in the 10-29 and the 15 to 19 age groups”. She also notes that “four times as many young women in these age groups have been reported with AIDS than young men while adult males account for a larger proportion of cases in the 30 – 79 age group”.

The National World AIDS Day event will offer free HIV and syphilis testing at Devon House on Thursday, December 1, 80:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. under the theme, No New HIV Infections, Know YOUR status. In Jamaica, 77% of HIV cases were transmitted through sexual intercourse. There are currently 32,000 persons estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS of which half are unaware of their status.