A sum of approximately $624 million has been allocated in the 2016/17 Estimates of Expenditure, tabled in the House of Representatives on April 14, for the project.
The project, titled ‘Support to the National HIV/AIDS Response in Jamaica’, is also aimed at reducing new HIV infections among key populations, through behavioural and structural interventions.
It is funded by the Government, with support from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
The project, which started in January 2016, is expected to run until December 2018.
Among the anticipated targets for this fiscal year are: the delivery of the HIV Prevention Programme’s defined package of services for 10,000 men-who-have-sex-with men (MSM) and 2,500 transgender; and the delivery of HIV and syphilis test results to 4,000 MSM and 1,800 transgender.
Some 3,247 MSM will also be reached with HIV prevention activities, while over 18,000 female sex workers will either be reached through the HIV prevention programme, or receive HIV or syphilis test results.
A total of $361.58 million has been earmarked for a project aimed at promoting safer sex practices among groups at high risk for HIV transmission.
The allocation, to the HIV prevalence in Most-at-Risk Population Reduced Project in the Ministry of Health, is contained in the 2016/17 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.
The initiative, which started in 2009, was initially scheduled to end in 2014, but has been extended to 2017.
It seeks to increase safer sex practices and improve attitudes and behaviours among vulnerable groups; reduce HIV transmission by delaying sexual initiation, promote abstinence and increasing condom use among sexually active adolescents; reduce stigma and discrimination surrounding HIV/AIDS; and finalise and disseminate the National HIV/AIDS Workplace Policy.
Other objectives include: supporting the capacity-building of community-based organisations, Ministry of Health staff, and people living with HIV/AIDS.
For the 2016/17 fiscal year, the project is expected to reach 1,810 men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) and 3,239 female sex workers.
Some 907 HIV and counselling test results for MSM will also be returned, as well as for 1,621 female sex workers. A total of 6,334 HIV-positive adults and children will receive clinical assessment, blood count or viral load tests. An additional 1,184 adults and children are to be enrolled for antiretroviral treatment (ART).
As at December 2015, HIV preventative interventions were provided for over
1,800 persons in key populations. In addition, more than 840 persons were provided with HIV test and counselling results; and 1,845 HIV-positive adults and children received ART.
The project is funded by the Government of Jamaica and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).