Already faced with the perils of COVID-19 and reports that a case of the monkeypox virus has been confirmed locally, Jamaicans are again being warned about the long-standing HIV/AIDS pandemic, which researchers at the Northern Caribbean University (NCU) project has been on the rise since 2018.
Paul Bourne, acting director of institutional research at NCU, said the probe, dubbed ‘An Examination of the Prevalence of HIV/AIDS and the Behaviour of HIV/AIDS Infected’, evaluated the rise and decline of HIV transmission in Jamaica over the past 20 years.
While there was a decrease in cases prior to 2018, the data suggests that the country is currently undergoing a rise of infections – most of which are undiagnosed, Bourne stressed.
This is compounded by mental and economic strain from the COVID-19 pandemic, and a breakdown in responsible sexual health practices that often thrive in such stressful situations. Jamaica’s first case of HIV/AIDS was reported in 1982.