United Nation Study Reveals Increase in HIV Infections Among Older Populations in the Caribbean

PRESS RELEASE:-As the Caribbean prepares to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Regional Testing Day for HIV on Friday June 30th the need for testing has been underscored against the background of worrying statistics from the United Nations.

United Nations Special Envoy on HIV to the Caribbean Dr. Edward Greene says findings in the 2016 UNAIDS Gap report state that HIV infections are on the rise in the region.

He says that while the major increases have occurred in Cuba and Jamaica the greatest area of alarm is the fact that progress in stopping new infections has stalled among adults and HIV infections are increasing among older groups in some countries “One of my colleagues has flippantly referred to this as the ‘Viagra Effect”.

Dr. Greene who was speaking at the recent Regional Testing Day 10th Anniversary Caribbean Launch Breakfast and Awards in Bridgetown Barbados lamented the fact that after ten years of decline in the prevalence rate the Caribbean has witnessed a 9 percent overall increase in new HIV infections “This is shamefully second the Eastern Europe and Central Asia”

The United Nations Special Envoy on HIV to the Caribbean says that prevalence rates in the region vary from 1 point 8 percent of the population living with AIDS in Haiti and 1 point 6 in Jamaica to approximately 1 percent and lower in Barbados and the OECS countries. He points out that less than 50 percent of the people in the region living with AIDS are receiving treatment. Cuba has the highest coverage with 67 percent and Jamaica the lowest with 32 percent coverage. It is estimated that only 2 out of every 5 persons in the region know their status

Dr. Eddie Greene said the region is facing a conspiracy of complacency because, while there has been great success in reducing the number of HIV AIDS related infections and deaths as well as the increase in the numbers of persons receiving treatment infections are increasing. He said possible reasons for this complacency are reduced funding from donor agencies, a falloff in Governmental support and a lack of adherence to treatment which can all lead to serious reversals in the gains already made in the fight against HIV and AIDS.


  1. Positively moving forward
    June 5, 2017 at 10:18 am

    I’m not at all surprised with this new information. Our people are still carelesslsy engaging in sexual activities that predisposes them to getting infected with the virus.
    As a health professional this conversation is still taboo. It’s like they listen…giggle. ..ask questions that they already know the answer to. They don’t take this serious.

    Our people have all the information that they need. We provide free condoms….we have outreach programmes ….campaigns. .all in an effort to raise awareness.
    I sometimes feel like we have to constantly be at persons to engage in healthy lifestyle practices.

    Our people need to start taking responsibility. They need to stop taking things so lightly. And get serious. Protect themselves. Their families.

  2. Anonymous
    June 10, 2017 at 11:01 am

    The research talk about the ‘Viagra effect’, did they forgot that AIDS came out in the 60s when the ‘Viagra generation’ was born.

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