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    Helping HIV/AIDS Prevention/Control in Barbados

    By Keith R | August 7, 2008

    Topics: Health Issues | 1 Comment »

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    From the World Bank:

    World Bank Approves US$35 Million for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control

    The World Bank Board of Directors today approved a US$35 million loan to Barbados to support the implementation of the 2008-2013 National Strategic Plan for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control.

    The Second HIV/AIDS Project seeks to increase the adoption of safe behaviors and access to prevention, treatment and social care, in particular among high risk groups. The project also aims to improve monitoring and evaluation of the epidemic and the country’s HIV/AIDS program.

    “This project builds on the previous Barbados HIV/AIDS Program which successfully increased access to testing, treatment and care,” said Evangeline Javier, World Bank Director for Human Development in the Latin American and the Caribbean Region. “The new project will further expand its impact by increasing knowledge and effective sustainable behavior change required to ensure HIV prevention and control.”

    The Caribbean region has the highest HIV prevalence among adults outside Sub-Saharan Africa. Barbados has achieved significant results in the prevention and control of the epidemic, and new AIDS cases and AIDS mortality have significantly declined (46 percent and 72 percent, respectively) since the introduction of anti-retroviral treatment in 2001, however, estimated HIV prevalence continues to increase. It is projected that the HIV prevalence rate in Barbados increased from 1.3 percent in 2001 to 1.5 percent in 2005. This is due in part to the increasing survival rate of people receiving treatment, but also to inadequate adoption of safer sexual practices.

    The new project will address issues such as acknowledging more openly risk factors, working more aggressively with key populations at higher risk, and making strategic decisions based on results. The project will continue to assist the implementation of essential public health functions, such as policy development, surveillance, monitoring and evaluation, and prevention, which are relevant for the health system as whole.

    In June 2001, the Barbados HIV/AIDS Project became the first program approved by the World Bank under the US$155 million Multi-Country HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Adaptable Program Loan for the Caribbean.

    Overall, the project had a dramatic impact. The share of people with advanced HIV infections who are receiving treatment rose from 12 percent to more than 80 percent. Annual deaths from AIDS have declined by more than 70 percent. The share of people reporting positive attitudes toward people living with HIV has risen from less than 40 percent to nearly 80 percent. Equally important, Barbados has proven the feasibility of providing sustained HIV care and treatment and provided key lessons for its neighbors and other countries.

    Prevention programs have also grown substantially.

    The new US$35 million fixed-spread loan is repayable in 30 years and includes a five-year grace period.

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    One Response to “Helping HIV/AIDS Prevention/Control in Barbados”

    1. Julie Mattern Says:

      I spent 10 years working in the field of HIV treatment and prevention during my time as a social worker in the US.
      It is great to hear that the initial program launched in 2001 has had such dramatic results and it good to hear the work is continuing. These are the types of programs that have shown success in the past and will continue in the future.
      Julie Mattern

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