CARIBBEAN: Bisexual men accounted for 40 per cent of new HIV infections in 2012

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CARIBBEAN: Bisexual men accounted for 40 per cent of new HIV infections in 2012

JAMAICA OBSERVER – MINISTER of Health Dr Fenton Ferguson yesterday disclosed that men who have sex with both men and women accounted for almost 40 per cent of new HIV infections in 2012.

Speaking at a press conference to announce the approval of funds for the National HIV/STI Programme at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston, Dr Ferguson said although the HIV/STI programme has made significant strides in achieving a decline in new infections and is on track to halt and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS, it continues to face challenges with respect to the prevalence rate among vulnerable groups.

“While we have a prevalence rate of 1.8 per cent among the general population, female sex workers have a prevalence of 4.2 per cent, young men under 25 years who have sex with men are at 24.3 per cent as at 2013, and adult men who have sex with men (MSM) have a prevalence rate of 32 per cent,” the health minister explained.

“In addition, men who have sex with men and their female partners accounted for almost 40 per cent of new infections in 2012,” he said.

“I want to further note that MSM who reported being involved in sex work, reported an HIV prevalence of 41 per cent, transgender women 45 per cent, and transgender populations in sex work reaching as high as 56 per cent.”

Insisting that the prevalence rate among these groups are “way too high”, Dr Ferguson said that much of the efforts must be concentrated on these vulnerable groups, adding that there is the ever present challenge of implementing mechanisms to effectively deal with the issue of stigma and discrimination.

The approved funds include US$14.9 million from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, to be used from January 2016 to December 2018; US$5 million from the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDs Relief (PEPFAR)/United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for the 2015/2016 financial year, and increased budgetary allocation from the Jamaican Government.

The funds, according to the minister, will facilitate support geared at reaching those most at risk of becoming HIV infected, as well as those who are already infected through the provision of treatment, care and support services.

Dr Ferguson said the PEPFAR grant has already been approved and that they are now in the final stages of completing the ministry’s work plan, while a mission from the Global Fund is now in the island working through funding requirements and guidelines with stakeholders to develop an integrated plan.

He told the Jamaica Observer that the additional funds being pumped into the programme will enable them to focus on vulnerable groups, instead of just the prevalence of HIV/AIDS among the general population.

“I think we have done extremely well to get to 1.8 per cent, but you would’ve heard the startling statistics I spoke to and unless you are able to target those groups and while targeting them, increasing your public education component that’s going to be important because even as you [set] targets, people must know what they should do, what puts them at risk, etc,” the minister said.

“And I think this funding during this period would really help us to break the back to get Jamaica to be, undoubtedly, the leader within the Caribbean relative to HIV/AIDS.”

The minister admitted that for some the identified vulnerable groups is a controversial topic, but he remained committed to ensuring the stigma and discrimination that is often demonstrated is removed, even as public education is boosted.

“You would have noted [the figure of] men who have sex with men but also with women, you are talking about 40 per cent, that’s extremely high,” the minister reiterated, while speaking to the Observer.

“You know sometimes you are focusing on the MSM alone, and not realising that our women are also at risk in those situations.

“So, we will just have to continue the public education, even as we continue to deal with those issues that mitigate treatment of these specific vulnerable groups,” Dr Ferguson insisted.

Meanwhile, in calling for continued partnerships to multiply the gains, the minister thanked both the mission from the Global Fund and USAID for their “consistent support of the national effort to fight the prevalence of HIV and AIDS among the Jamaican population”.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. I just don't understand what those bullers see in bulling. Damn Brits started that shit and it spreading the world over. Barbados is famous for bulling and at one point one was afraid of going to st james. Well known for faggotry. All those politicians better keep bullery on the criminal code and they better dont f....k around with gay marriahe nonsense

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  2. not surprised dem ziggies think of the weirdest things to do .A whole bunch of caca cocoons!!!! FIRE BURN DEM

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  3. MSM, LGBT, GAY... the anger of the most high will certainly blaze against these abominations of man.
    Stop this crap and the spreading of diseases to straight people, choops tan!

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  4. LGBT is contrary to our creator's plans.
    he created man and woman for specific purpose and role. But the demented mind of man has led him to the devil to devise ways to seek pleasure in another man/woman like himself/herself. Worse yet those who choose to alter their gender. A woman is the perfect compliment for a man (hand & glove), stop disgracing yourselves with that GAY thing. STOP IT the anus is to be used for defecating NOT sex.

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  5. Just disgusting, the thought of 2 men kissing .. chills down my spine)YUK!!.(spits)
    This is unnatural.. to be jooking shit/poop (woyy!!) of another man or woman is an abomination. Awa eeeee

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  6. buggery is the main problem. there are men who have anal sex with their wives and girlfriends - and do not see it as a homosexual act. The law is not to target gays but the act of anal sex. gay men are targeted by the law, because the law should not wish to punish heterosexual who commit the same act of anal sex.

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  7. Gays simply have demons. Sexual perverse demons. That is all it is. They cannot even have sex without the assistance of other products, Always need a oil for lube or a dildo. Yall eh see that eh natural? fyah. If it was right for yall to do what yall doing yall wouldnt need lube.

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  8. There are lots of gay men living here in St. Lucia including young school boys. Women be careful and do some digging, your man may be bulling and u dont no. We women need to open our eyes some of our partners/husbands are bullars and use us as a cover up. Please be careful.

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  9. I so agree with "The Crow". This aids thing is as a result of the nasty unnatural things these gay people engage in.... Somebody explain to me how you leave the natural use of a vagina and 'dig' in an anus for "pleasure"! Oh and don't tell me y'all does do woman that... or as a woman y'all allowing man to do y'all that! That faeces place was not for that... Just yak! Dig in poop! Choops tun!

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  10. So since gay marriage has been approved in all 50 states in the US has st lucia taken a stance on where it stands on this issue. Since we are one of the top honeymoon destination sites in the world according to tourist board are we going to stand by our law and enforce that buggery is a crime? or are we going to hor our nation for their abominable dollar. I just hope the persons who have the responsibility and authority to make these decisions are not gays or gay undercover themselves to allow this to happen because st lucia will not be able to handle any explosion of hiv along with the rebellious spirits that accompany homosexuals.

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  11. Leviticus 18:22 clearly stated the a man should not lie with a man nor woman with woman for it is an abomination. totally agree with the decision made.

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  12. B__ling is the problem! In fact, when aids was first discovered as a sexually transmitted disease, it was in fact localized among homosexuals. That is a fact! Today, men B__ling men transmits the disease to their unsuspecting female partners who then pass it on to unsuspecting heterosexual men . . . and so forth.

    The PROBLEM is B__ling!

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  13. FIRE pon batty boy. any form of man to man sexual contact is wrong. some men go on the down low and have girlfriends just to hide they dealing with man. FIRE !!!!!!!!!!!

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