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News > Science and Tech

UNAIDS: 4 of 5 HIV-Infected People in Jamaica Know Status

  • UNAIDS: 4 of 5 HIV-Infected People in Jamaica Know Status
Published 23 July 2017

About 81% of the HIV-infected population, the highest in the English-speaking Caribbean

According to an annual United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) report, four of five people living with HIV in Jamaica know their status.

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This translates to roughly 81 percent of the HIV-infected population, the highest in the English-speaking Caribbean, and close to the 90 percent target.

Last year, there was believed to be 30,000 people living with HIV in Jamaica.

The country is well on its way to meeting the UN's global 90-90-90 target – 90 percent of HIV-infected people being aware of their status, 90 percent of diagnosed people accessing antiretroviral treatment and 90 percent of people accessing treatment achieving viral suppression by 2020.

The report states that the Caribbean island must close the gap on treatment and viral suppression to speed up the process.

“Jamaica has achieved remarkable progress in expanding HIV testing and is close to achieving the 90 per cent target,” UNAIDS Country Director for Jamaica, Manoela Manova, said.

But gaps remain and the country must increase efforts to ensure that those who are diagnosed with the virus access and maintain treatment, UNAIDS urged.

Jamaica's HIV high diagnosis achievement can be attributed to community outreach programs, provider-initiated testing and focused services.

In 2016, there was only an estimated one in three or 35 percent of people living with HIV accessing treatment in Jamaica.

The report also documents an analysis of progress and challenges toward achieving set goals to help the world reach the Sustainable Development Goal of ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.

Approximately 19.5 million of the 36.7 million people living with HIV globally had access to treatment, reducing AIDS-related deaths from 1.9 million to one million, which puts the world on track to reach 30 million people on treatment by 2020.

Eastern and southern Africa, which accounts for more than half of all people living with the HIV virus, have seen AIDs-related deaths decline by as much as 42 per cent and new HIV infections by 29 per cent, including a 56 per cent drop in new infections among children.

Botswana, Cambodia, Denmark, Iceland, Singapore, Sweden and the UK has already achieved the 90-90-90 target.

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