Friday, December 6, 2019

Saint Lucia: 500 people living with HIV

Saint Lucia has the second highest number of people living with HIV in the Eastern Caribbean.

That’s according to data presented in the UN Aids Caribbean Summary of the AIDS epidemic in 2015.

According to the summary, Saint Lucia’s number of persons living with the disease is 500 with Saint Vincent and the Grenadines being ahead with 800.

The remaining Eastern Caribbean countries have approximately 150-300 persons living with HIV, UN Aids disclosed.

It noted that St. Kitts and Nevis and Dominica are closest to achieving the 90-90-90 targets, reporting fewer than 20 new HIV infections and fewer than 10 AIDS-related deaths annually over the last five years.

“All the Eastern Caribbean states, with the exception of St Lucia, have virtually eliminated HIV transmission from mothers to children and are currently in the process of being validated by the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO),” the UN Aids report noted.

It stated that 2% of the people living with HIV in the Caribbean reside in the Eastern Caribbean.

World Aids Day will be celebrated on December 1.

In a message to mark the occasion, Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS, observed that the world has committed to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Sidibé observed that that countries are getting on the Fast-Track with more than 18 million people being on life-saving HIV treatment.

He said country after country is on track to virtually eliminate HIV transmission from mother to child.

“We are winning against the AIDS epidemic, but we are not seeing progress everywhere,” the UN Aids official stated.

He said the number of new HIV infections is not declining among adults, with young women particularly at risk of becoming infected with HIV.

Sidibé disclosed that coinfections of people living with HIV, such as tuberculosis (TB), cervical cancer and hepatitis C, are at risk of putting the 2020 target of fewer than 500 000 AIDS-related deaths out of reach.

TB caused about a third of AIDS-related deaths in 2015.




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