ROSEAU, Dominica, may 14, CMC – Nearly 380 people have been infected with the deadly HIV-AIDS virus since it was first detected in Dominica in 1987, according to official figures released here.
The Global AIDS Report 2012, prepared by the National HIV and AIDS Response Programme Secretariat, indicates last year, there were 15 new cases, with four pending confirmation.
The report quoted the Health Information Unit (HIU) as saying 143 people died from the disease between 1987 – 2011 and that there “has been a decrease in the HIV-related mortality rate since 2005 as compared to previous years.
“Five of the deaths document in 2011 were persons who were had not accessed treatment, care and support services.”
The report noted that the promotion of early treatment will be scaled up over the coming months and that Dominica “continues to see more males testing positive for HIV, as well as the productive population. The 25 – 49 age group remains the most affected.
The report notes that given the ratio of men to women in the context of the Dominica epidemic, the plans are to continue to target workplaces that have more men in their employ.
“Additionally sports clubs and male dominated community groups will be targeted. A programme is being designed to reach these groups,” the report said, noting that testing and counselling services continues to be an integral part of the services offered to the general population and other most at risk populations. It said that last year a total 6257 HIV tests were performed nationally with 3897 females and 2360 males tested.
The report said that while blood donors continue to be screened for HIV according to Caribbean Guidelines and National Guidelines, there were no HIV positive cases among donors, adding “the number persons testing positive has remained stable over the last few years”.
It said the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission programme continues to ensure all pregnant are tested for HIV and that 993 HIV tests were conducted for pregnant women at the government laboratory.
The report did not indicate how many mothers tested positive, but noted that those who did were given counselling and treatment and all exposed infants treated.