“Getting to Zero: How will we fast track the AIDS response” was the subject of the dialogue which was started by the Minister of Health, Dr. Fenton Ferguson at the UNAIDS Regional Consultation, on Monday, March 16, at Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.
Dr. Ferguson explained that Jamaica has taken measures to accelerate its response. “There is now country ownership of the HIV/AIDS response in Jamaica. We have undertaken a sustainability study of the programme, projecting as far as 2030. Additionally, the merger of the Family Planning Board and the National HIV/STI programme into one Sexual Reproductive Health Authority has broadened their initial scope while looking at integration into primary health care.”
The Minister said that “in Jamaica, there resides significant expertise and experience on the AIDS epidemic.” Dr Ferguson posited that together with the strong bipartisan, regional and international support, the AIDS response going forward can only be strengthened.
The Regional Consultation, which was hosted by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS ( UNAIDS) was attended by forty (40) Caribbean and International delegates representing private and public sector as well as civil society. The aim of the consultation was to shape regional priorities in fast tracking the AIDS response based on the gains and the lessons learnt from individual countries. The outcome of the consultation will guide the UNAIDS Strategy 2016-2021.