Progress and setbacks in Jamaica's fight against HIV

Beyond the Headlines host Dionne Jackson Miller and Xavier Biggs, Monitoring and Evaluation Manager at Jamaica AIDS Support for Life, speaking on Monday


Despite data from the latest UNAIDS report showing that HIV/AIDS infections and deaths are down across the region, a local expert contends that Jamaica is falling short of where it should be at this time in its fight against the disease.

According to Xavier Biggs, Monitoring and Evaluation Manager at Jamaica AIDS Support for Life, Jamaica continues to experience improvements, but not sufficiently so.

Mr Biggs, speaking Monday on Radio Jamaica’s Beyond the Headlines, revealed that 86 per cent of those “believed to be living with the virus” are aware of their status.

He said it was “troublesome” that because, of that 86 per cent, which is about 27 thousand people, only 47 per cent of that are retained on active treatment, which is roughly 12,800...” and among those, “only 71 per cent are virally suppressed.”

Given those figures, he said, the current situation “doesn’t sound as great as we want.”

That assessment comes at the beginning of a high-level meeting to review the progress made in reducing the impact of  HIV since the last UN General Assembly high-level meeting on HIV and AIDS in 2016.


Click on the audio icon above to access the full discussion on Beyond the Headlines.



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