Caribbean and Aids
Date: Wednesday, December 01 @ 17:29:14 UTC
Caribbean and Aids
General statistics and prevalence
At the end of 2003, an estimated 430,000 people were living with HIV and AIDS in the Caribbean. Of these, 52,000 were newly infected during 2003. It is estimated that there were 35,000 deaths due to AIDS that year.
In three of the seven countries in this region - the Bahamas, Haiti and Trinadad and Tobago - more than 3% of the population is HIV-postitive. Higher prevalence rates are found only in sub-Saharan Africa, making the Caribbean the second-most affected region in the world. Nearly half of adults living with the virus are women.
AIDS is now one of the leading causes of death in some of these countries, with Haiti being the worst affected. An estimated 24,000 lives are lost each year to AIDS in Haiti, and 200,000 children have been orphaned by the epidemic.
Trends and transmission routes
The predominant route of HIV transmission in the Caribbean is heterosexual contact. In many places, much of this transmission is associated with commercial sex. However, the virus is also spreading in the general population, especially in Haiti. Cultural and behavioural patterns (such as early initiation of sexual acts, and taboos related to sex and sexuality), gender inequalities, lack of confidentiality, stigmatization and economic need are some of the factors influencing vulnerability to HIV and AIDS in the Caribbean.
Haiti's prevalence levels have remained at 5-6% since the late 1980s (the estimated rate in 2003 was 5.6%). With very low condom use among young people, and about 60% of the population under 24, much scope exists for renewed growth in Haiti's mainly heterosexually-transmitted epidemic. Meanwhile on the other side of Hispaniola Island, in the Dominican Republic, previously high prevalence has declined due to effective prevention efforts that encouraged people to reduce their number of sexual partners and increase condom use.
Provision of antiretrovirals
Countries in this region are making efforts to slow the epidemic and to limit its impact, most obviously through their efforts to provide antiretroviral drugs. In 2002, the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV/AIDS signed an agreement with six pharmaceutical companies to provide access to cheaper antiretroviral drugs. However, actual access to these drugs remains unequal across the region as a whole, partly due to wide differences in drug prices.
Access to antiretriviral therapy is provided to all those in need in Cuba, and the Bahamas and Barbados are advancing towards this goal. Across the wider region of Latin America and the Caribbean, it is estimated that antiretroviral treatment was being provided to about half of the patients who needed it in 2003.
Avert.org features further discussion of treatment and other issues connected with HIV & AIDS in Latin America and the Caribbean.
HIV prevalence in Haiti is estimated as being between 120,000 and 600,000; the figure for Barbados lies in the range 7009,200.
Shocking isn't it?
As our young people say today "Study it" what will happen of the Caribbean in 2010 would it be there would we even still be on the map our will we be evicted by the AIDS Epidemic as many says you tell me because right now from those views im seeing, soon the life expectancy maybe done to zero,it is a shame to say such and also to imagine the things that may happen to our future youth and as I been one of them I am very worried about the generation after me, what will become of the children, would they even live to see a star pitch?
We have to fight and the only way to do this is to get tested,If you dont get tested this epidemic would get rid of our future and the younger generation to come forth.
So Get Tested and Help Fight Against this Epidemic!