The World Bank has recently announced that it will work with Jamaican authorities to prepare a Second HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Project based on the current program’s successful performance and ratings. The main objective of the current project is to support the Government of Jamaica’s efforts to reverse the spread of HIV and mitigate the socio-economic impact of AIDS. To date, approximately US$ 9 million has been disbursed with the remaining US$ 1.6 million expected to be spent. The current project will close in May 2008.
HIV/AIDS remains a serious threat to the Caribbean region. The current project seeks to: a) reduce HIV transmission, especially by targeting high-risk groups and reducing stigma; b) improve treatment, care and support for those infected with the virus; and c) strengthen the national capacity to respond to the epidemic.
Among others, major achievements of the current project include: 1. Adoption of the National HIV/AIDS Policy approved by Cabinet (2004) and Parliament (2005); the National HIV/AIDS Workplace Policy approved by Cabinet in March 2007; the National Policy for HIV/AIDS Management in Schools; and other sector policies (Labour and Tourism); 2. Implementation of the HIV/AIDS workplace program in the critical sectors of education, tourism and labour; 3. Drug treatment and care for managing opportunistic infections in persons living with HIV/AIDS; strengthened capacity of the National Public Health Laboratory, and training for its staff; 4. Reduction of mother to child transmission to 10%; 5. HIV counseling and testing Programs for High Risk Groups including STI clinic attendees, Commercial Sex Workers (CSW), and men who have sex with men (MSM); 6. HIV prevention education reaching approximately 450,000 persons per year through outreach and training interventions conducted by peer educators in communities, schools, workplaces, prisons and health facilities; and 7. Significant increase in condom access via establishment of condom outlets including condom machines.