AIDS Secretariat forges closer ties with private labs

AIDS Program Manager Delcora Williams said that the Secretariat will be forging closer ties with private laboratories.

Williams who spoke to ZDK news on Friday said the decision is means of acquiring data which reflects the average amount of HIV cases within Antigua and Barbuda and not limited to only the Secretariat.

She said that by the end of this year persons will be able to have a true reflection of what is taking place within the country as it relates to HIV/AIDS epidemic.

So far for 2016, there have been 21 positive cases of HIV in Antigua and Barbuda, a number which according to the AIDS Programme Manager may not be definite due to lack of data from the private labs.

In light of this Williams said that a population estimate will also be conducted to determine the exact number of positive HIV cases in the country to better plan for future projects and to be able to better assist those affected.

This comes after it was announced that Antigua and Barbuda along with five other Caribbean islands will be benefiting from an OECS Multi-country Global Fund Project to address HIV/AIDS.

The sub-regional group received US$ 5.3 million dollars which is to be spent over a 3 year period to address the issue of HIV/AIDS as well as Tuberculosis within the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).

According to the AIDS Program Manager, the funds, which will be submitted to the respective countries on a yearly basis, will be spent on activities targeting individuals who tested positive for HIV in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

The funds allocated for the first set of activities for the first year according to Williams will amounts to one hundred and three thousand, two hundred and twenty six dollars.

News Reporter

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