According to local health officials, despite their best efforts to hinder the spread of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) on the Island, cases have been on the rise, especially in the Northwestern parishes. In recognition of World Aids Day, Jamaica’s ministry has revealed the startling numbers relating to the life-threatening virus.
The data shows that Westmorland leads in the highest new transmission level for a single parish with 38.1%, Trelawny with 37%, St. Ann with 34.5% and St. James with 33.5%. It was also revealed in the report that around 30,000 Jamaicans are currently living with the virus.
Health Minister Christopher Tufton responded to the rising numbers in an interview with TVJ, as well as disclosing that there was an increase in younger people affected by the spread of the virus.
“So Westmoreland, Trewlawny and St. Ann are parishes that are on our radar as parishes that have the highest level of transmissions. We also have seen and continue to see a sort of younger age cohort that are infected there, in other words, there are some vulnerable groups, but what is very, very important to make know is that HIV is not confined to any particular group,” Tufton disclosed.
Tufton continued his response as he pointed to some factors contributing to the increase in transmission. He outlined that the stigma and perception surrounding HIV have led to persons affected by HIV seeking treatment late.
Dr Kathy Pate-Robinson was also featured in the report. She revealed that there was no cost to get the required treatment at a public treatment facility on the Island for individuals affected by the virus.
See the report below:
RELATED: Another Person Cured of HIV