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International News

Jamaica: Most HIV/AIDS Carriers Don't Know They Are Infected

July 7, 2009

Highlighting the need for increased voluntary HIV testing, the Ministry of Health (MOH) says two-thirds of the estimated 27,000 Jamaicans living with HIV/AIDS are unaware they are infected.

A recent testing event sponsored by MOH and Scotiabank was held in recognition of the second annual Regional Testing Day, an initiative by the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership and the Pan Caribbean Partnership on HIV/AIDS. Scotiabank hosted rapid testing and counseling at its branches in Montego Bay, Spanish Town, Port Antonio, Port Maria, Savanna-la-Mar, Brown's Town, Falmouth, and at two sites in Kingston.

Positive results are followed up with confirmatory tests. "If they are positive after that, then they are put on to a contact investigator who would try to identify partners and encourage them to also do tests," said MOH Behavior Change Officer Rushane Reid. "The infected person would also be counseled in dealing with the reality of being HIV-positive," she said.

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At last year's testing day, approximately 450 people were screened at three bank locations. This year, more than 1,664 people turned up. Of these, more than 60 percent were females -- a gender imbalance Reid said is typical.

Back to other news for July 2009

Adapted from:
Jamaica Observer (Kingston)
07.02.2009; Patrick Foster


  
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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.
 
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Jamaica and HIV/AIDS
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