National HIV/AIDS Commission, 2008. 54 p.
Jacobs, Carol
Barbados. National HIV/AIDS Commission
As Barbados responds to the changing face of the HIV and AIDS epidemic, the NHAC has designed fresh approaches for improved results in the National Strategic Plan for HIV Prevention and Control 2008-2013. The NSP will therefore build and improve on the achievements of the NAP to date. Guided by Goal three of The National Strategic Plan of Barbados 2005-2025, the current Strategic Plan is framed within the context of other national, regional and global priority development goals. This all encompassing developmental approach was used to ensure that the economic and social fabric of the country remains strong and dynamic. The Barbados epidemic has evolved over the past quarter of a century from being mainly concentrated and driven by sexual networks of men who have sex with men (1984 to early 1990s) to rapidly increasing incidence in self-reported heterosexual males and in females of child bearing age (feminization of the epidemic). Current figures on reported cases show that females of child bearing age represent 50 % of new AIDS cases in 2006. The challenge has been in characterizing the nature of the epidemic, and accurately documenting the changing trends that result from changes in transmission dynamics. With vertical transmission of HIV virtually eliminated and no reported cases of HIV being transmitted via blood transfusions, the primary mode of transmission of the virus, therefore, is through unprotected sexual contact. Among the new approaches required in fighting HIV and AIDS in Barbados, is an openness and honesty about sexuality and a supportive, enabling and non-judgemental environment. This will also be reflected in the nature and content of safer sex education and staff training resources, effectively targeted at HIV risk and the social and sexual realities experienced by the population. The NHAC has been established to articulate the national strategy and ensure sustainability of the NAP.
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