Print this page    •   Back to Web version of article

International News
As Global AIDS Conference Gets Under Way, Jamaican Activists Seek More Robust Focus

July 25, 2012

The non-governmental group Eve for Life has launched a new campaign, "Eve Teens Stories," to raise awareness about Jamaican women and girls living with HIV/AIDS. At the 19th International AIDS Conference in Washington, EFL is premiering a 20-minute film, "Together We Can," which tells the stories of these women.

"The statistics are clear: Girls are three times more likely to be infected in Jamaica" than boys, said Patricia Watson, a former journalist and EFL's executive director. While HIV infections among young females are not tracked as they are among other high-risk groups, Watson worries that Jamaica's teen pregnancy rate of 18 percent puts girls at high risk of the virus.

"Here is a set of young people for whom if we don't do something at this point and time, then we are going to have a horrible epidemic on our hands in another 20 or 30 years," Watson said. "If we don't give them the knowledge that they didn't get in the first place, including on HIV and how to navigate relationships, then we are going to have serious issues."

A UN report released ahead of the conference noted that the Caribbean's HIV infection rates and AIDS-related deaths fell sharply in the past decade thanks to improved access to antiretroviral treatment; however, many challenges remain to achieving an AIDS-free generation.

Secrecy surrounding sex and other socio-cultural issues is affecting not only youths but also other high-risk groups, the UN reported, including men who have sex with men. Jamaica's rate of MSM infection, 32 percent, is the world's second-highest after Kenya.

Back to other news for July 2012

Excerpted from:
Miami Herald
07.20.2012; Jacqueline Charles




This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. You can find this article online by typing this address into your Web browser:
http://www.thebody.com/content/68233/as-global-aids-conference-gets-under-way-jamaican-.html

General Disclaimer: TheBody.com is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. The information provided through TheBody.com should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, consult your health care provider.