Innovative approach to prevent HIV needed – PANCAP

first_imgThe Pan Caribbean Partnership Against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP) has called on all countries to introduce innovative prevention approaches to reduce the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).This message was resounded in a press statement recently issued by the organisation.“The board also called on all countries to introduce innovative prevention approaches and improve the quality of prevention services to ensure greater impact in reducing new HIV infections; and further called on the Priority Areas Coordinating Committee to develop a new Caribbean Regional Strategic Framework on HIV and AIDS for the period 2019 to 2023,” the release stated.It continued to say that while tens of thousands of cases of HIV infections have been prevented, a need still exists to significantly reduce new infections which requires countries to promote age-appropriate sexual education and skills and extend sexual reproductive health services to all youth and key populations.It added, “The Executive Board noted the legal judgments in Caribbean courts affirming human rights arising from litigation and called on countries not to wait on litigation but to make amendments to laws to recognise the rights of key populations and the rights of all to access sexual and reproductive health services”.Last year, Minister within the Public Health Ministry, Dr Karen Cummings said Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) has recorded the highest number of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) cases for 2017.In fact, 705 cases were recorded in 2015, 855 in 2016, and a whopping 961 cases were confirmed in 2017.Region Four has since earned the title of the region that is most populated with HIV affected persons due to the fact that it is evidently the most populated region in the country.Trailing Region Four was Region Three, Essequibo Islands-West Demerara, with 130 cases of HIV in 2017.For the same year, Region Eight, (Potaro-Siparuni), was documented as the region with the least number of cases, since a mere three persons were diagnosed with the virus there.Cummings noted that there are many gaps in AIDS responses, which deserve some attention.Statistics provided by PANCAP, which were collected in six strategic priority areas revealed that the annual number of new HIV infections among adults in the Caribbean declined by only 18 per cent from 2010 to 2017, from 19,000 to 15,000.Majority of the new HIV infections, which represented 68 per cent of the total population was accounted for by Men who have Sex with Men (MSM), Sex Workers (SWs) and their clients, transgender persons, and persons who use drugs PANCAP disclosed.New infections among children also fell from about 2300 in 2010 to 1100. Although significant progress has been made in eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV, available data for the period 2015 to 2017 showed that HIV-infected pregnant women receiving Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) to reduce HIV transmission declined from 92 per cent in 2014 to 79 per cent in 2015 and 75 per cent in 2016 and 2017 respectively, illustrating a significant decrease that requires investigation.last_img read more

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