An estimated 10,000 to 14,000 people are said to be living with HIV/Aids in Trinidad and Tobago.
According to the deputy director of the HIV/Aids Coordinating Committee, Dr Ayanna Sebro, the National Aids Programme has resulted in the diagnosis of 27,000 persons between 1983 and 2014. She also said there has been an increase in HIV rapid testing sites across Trinidad and Tobago from one to 64 during the peri-od 2005-2014.
Speaking at the Health Ministry’s weekly news briefing, at the ministry’s head office, Sebro said there was an overall decrease in the number of persons presenting positive with HIV/Aids from 1,445 in 2004 to 1,053 in 2014. Sebro noted that the prominent age group for new infections was between 20-49, with the majority of those testing positive being female.“There is an increasing number of people being tested yearly with a decrease in the number of people presenting positive. Twelve per cent of the new cases are seen in the 15 to 24 population, and we also recognise that services to the under 18 population is very limited.
Stigma and discrimination continue to affect and reduce active treatment and support,” Sebro added. Sebro noted more women than men went in for testing, and felt they needed to have comprehensive prevention and strategies to delve deeper into what was happening with the male population.
Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said getting tested for any disease always posed a problem for men.“It is the male culture and it is not only limited to HIV testing.