From the beginning of time when the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome also known as AIDS was discovered till now millions of people have been affected from all different communities. AIDS is not a virus but a set of symptoms caused by the HIV virus. Those that have AIDS their immune system is said to be “too weak” to fight off any infections and they develop many illnesses. AIDS is the last stage of HIV and as the infection advances or left untreated it can lead to death. According to the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) in 2015, 18,303 people were diagnosed with AIDS and since the epidemic 1,216,917 people have been diagnosed with AIDS. Most commonly HIV/AIDS is transmitted through sexual behaviors, needle or even syringe use. Only certain body fluids from a person who has HIV can pass HIV. For instance, blood, semen, pre seminal fluid, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, and breast milk are common body fluids.
The ministry of health from Jamaica said that their case of HIV/AIDS in Jamaica was reported in 1982. In 1982, the first case of AIDS was seen in Jamaica and HIV were found in homosexual and bisexual men from Tobago and Trinidad. These first cases of AIDS/HIV were seen mostly in men, but by 1985 both men and women were infected. Currently about 1.7 % (27,000 people) of Jamaica’s adult population live with HIV/AIDS and the numbers are continuing to increase. There were various ways that the disease has been spreading in Jamaica; some of which are the, ” Jamaican homosexual community, migrant farmworkers, female prostitutes, and informal commercial importers.” HIV/AIDS has been transmitting locally more and more rapidly in Western Jamaica and the North Coast, which may reflect increased sexual activity in those areas because they can be connected with tourism. In some cases there have been people in Jamaica that deliberately have spread the disease to as many people as they can according to their local magazines. However, in Jamaica it is believed that the most common way that HIV/AIDS is spreading is by homosexuals and sex workers due to their “moral impurity” which makes them vulnerable to it even just by touching those who are homosexual or sex workers. In Jamaica homosexuality is frowned upon to the point where men who have sex with men and women who have sex with women are thrown out from their homes and their towns by locals and they warn to kill them if they stayed giving them no choice but to leave their things behind potentially leaving them homeless.
Prevention efforts in such countries can be very difficult as number of HIV/AIDS cases increase. Jamaica has made the effort to teach prevention education to the general public which include children, teenagers, young adults, middle aged and the elderly. Between 2002-2012, Jamaica has been getting funds from the World Bank to support its National HIV/AIDS Response. Some prevention methods that were funded by the World Bank included an increase condom distribution and testing for HIV/AIDS. In Jamaica homosexuals are criminalized because of anal sex due to religious point of views that have a understanding that homosexuality is a mortal sin in the bible and so this is one way prevention has taken place in Jamaica to instill fear in the people that certain homosexual gestures can end in sin ultimately preventing the disease through homosexuality.
With resources limited in a third world country Jamaica does struggle to get treatment for its infected people. However, because of fundraisers from the World Bank and nonprofit organizations such as AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Jamaica AIDS Support for Life, and many other organizations; treatment is available. Voluntary testing sites have been set up in all major health centres with at least 95% of staff that is qualified to test for HIV/AIDS so that the the public gets the best healthcare possible. For screening of HIV they use either the “finger prick test (Uni Gold brand) or the oral test (Ora Quick brand).” All sexually active people are offered an HIV test and those that are in high risk are advised to be tested annually for their safety.
In this case Jamaica has both nonprofit organizations and their government’s assistance in trying to prevent HIV/AIDS so the public relies on both. As one stated earlier in the paper that in Jamaica homosexuality and sex work is frowned upon so a way that the government has prevented HIV/AIDS is by punishing these communities because of religious aspects as well as health aspects. These two groups are the most infected in Jamaica along with sex workers. With non profit organizations Jamaica has getting funds and volunteers to provide care plans, prevention plans as well as treatment plans. Jamaica’s population of HIV/AID cases are growing year by year and the country is currently trying to prevent any more cases being added on the number of HIV/AIDS infected population. Jamaica has been adopting prevention methods as well as care/treatment methods now it is the wait to see if the general public can reciprocate the fear.