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Components of The National HIV/STI Programme
The units/departments that make up The National HIV/STI Control Programme are:

The Behavior Change Communication component focuses on controlling the spread of HIV/AIDS among high-risk groups and the wider population by promoting safer sexual behavior. BCC strategies include mass media campaigns, development of educational material, peer education programmes, targeted community interventions, condom promotion, the reduction of stigma and discrimination of persons infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, counseling and testing.

Research This unit seeks to conduct high quality research in the field of HIV/STI. The results are used to guide policy planning and development of the national response to HIV/AIDS and STIs. Research areas include behavioral, epidemiological, operational research and clinical trends.

Laboratory Services The National Blood Transfusion Service (Blood Bank) is responsible for supplying the country’s health care facilities with safe, uninfected blood and blood related products. The National Public Health Laboratory is the government’s laboratory to rpovide accurate health information.

Reducing HIV Transmission This component supports activities seeking to prevent the transmission of HIV in those population groups that are most at risk to become infected or to transmit infection. In Jamaica, these include commercial sex workers (10-20% prevalence); men who have sex with other men (25% prevalence), prison inmates (12% prevalence) and persons with past exposure to sexually transmitted infections (6% prevalence).

Treatment, Care and Support The component is designed to improve the quality and length of life for Persons Living with HIV/AIDS. It also aims to provide voluntary counselling, same-da HIV testing (Rapid Test) and supportive interventions to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

Capacity Building This component is designed to improve the technical, managerial and implementation capacity of key players involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Support will be directed at strengthening the blood bank system to continue to provide safe blood, improving the National Public Health Laboratory’s capability and efficiency, strengthening surveillance systems and expanding the monitoring and evaluation capability.

Policy and Planning The objective of this component is to create the conditions for a more open, tolerant and supportive society regarding HIV/AIDS issues and the rights of People Living with HIV/AIDS. While the development of a national policy and legal framework is central to this component, the treatment of Persons Living with HIV/AIDS in their communities and families is also a matter of priority. Reducing stigma and discrimination and creating a supportive environment for those infected or affected by the virus.

HIV/STI Surveillance The National Programme’s Surveillance Unit monitors the country’s HIV/AIDS prevalence rate through routine testing among selected groups of antenatal and STI clinic attenders. These groups are selected based on epidemiological evidence of STI/HIV risks.
As a result of the work of the National HIV/STI Control Programme:
  • There is a high awareness of HIV/AIDS among the Jamaican population
  • There is increased use of condoms
  • There is a decline in Syphillis and other Sexually Transmitted Infections
  • There is a decline in congenital Syphillis cases
  • The island’s blood supply is safe
  • The spread of HIV has been slowed

Programme Impact
  • Awareness of HIV and AIDS is very high

  • There is widespread recall of the condom as a means of the condom as a means of preventing HIV infection

  • Self-reported condom use at last sex among men increased from 54% in 1992 to 77% in 1996. Among teenage boys, 15-19 years, 80% reported condom use at last sex in 1994.
  • Condom use at las sex among women was 43% in 1992 and 73% in 1996.

  • There has been a significant decline in infectious syphilis and case of congenital syphilis.

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