Mandeville Weekly News

JAMAICA WILL BEGIN ‘TEST AND START’ HIV INITIATIVE IN JANUARY 2017

Posted by SR (riley) on Dec 07 2016 at 11:49 PM
Mandeville Weekly News >>

In January 2017, the Ministry of Health’s National HIV Programme will adopt the 2015 WHO guidelines, which recommend that anyone who is diagnosed HIV positive be offered treatment (Test and Start).This new recommendation is based on current scientific evidence from clinical trials and observational studies demonstrating that initiating antiretroviral therapy earlier results in better clinical outcomes for persons living with HIV (PLHIV) versus delayed treatment.

The announcement was made at the HIV annual review and planning retreat that was executed by the Ministry of Health’s HIV recently.  With the ‘Test & Start’ initiative it is anticipated that an additional 1200 new patients will be eligible to initiate treatment.  Treatment as a method of prevention is another benefit of these new guidelines as more PLHIV are virally suppressed and consequently the risk of transmission is decreased.

Testing is a critical tool in the management and treatment of HIV as people with HIV who know they are infected can get HIV treatment (antiretroviral therapy, or ART) that can keep them healthy for many years. It is estimated that over twenty nine thousand persons are currently living with HIV in Jamaica; but approximately 19% are unaware of their status.
 Individuals may call the Ministry of Health or the nearest health centre for more information.  Persons may also visit our website at moh.gov.jm and like and follow us on 

http://www.facebook.com/themohgovjm, https://twitter.com/themohgovjm, https://instagram.com/themohgovjm

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