Barbados (McKoy’s News) – Worrying Statistics Show HIV Infections Increase: United Nations Special Envoy on HIV in the Caribbean Dr. Edward Green says the findings of the 2016 UN-AIDS Gap report states that HIV infections are on the rise in the Caribbean.
He said; while this is worrying statistics, the major increases have occurred in Cuba and Jamaica.
The greatest area of alarm is the fact that progress in stopping new infections has stalled among adults, and HIV infections are increasing among older groups.
Dr. Greene; who was speaking at the recent 10th Anniversary of the Regional Testing Day Launch Breakfast and Awards in Barbados, lamented the fact that after ten years of decline in the prevalence rate, the Caribbean has witnessed a 9 percent overall new HIV infections increase.
He highlighted that the prevalence rates in the region vary from 1.8 percent of the population living with AIDS in Haiti and 1.6 percent in Jamaica to approximately 1 percent and lower in Barbados and the OECS countries.
He further pointed out that less than 50 percent of the people in the region living with AIDS are receiving treatment.
Cuba has the highest coverage with 67 percent and Jamaica the lowest with 32 percent coverage.
It is estimated that only 2 out of every 5 persons in the region know their status.
Dr. Greene was quick to point out that the region is facing a conspiracy of complacency and says while there has been a great success in reducing the number of HIV-AIDS-related infections and deaths, as well as the increase in the numbers of persons receiving treatment, infections are increasing.
While examining the reasons for the complacency, he mentioned the lack of adherence to treatment, lack of funding and donor agencies along with fall-off in government support.