AIDS orphans on the rise
US$10M World Bank prevention project proposed
Stabroek News
December 1, 2003

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Around 4,200 children in Guyana have lost one or both parents to AIDS says a World Bank document which also estimates that as of the end of 2001, 18,000 Guyanese were living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA).

To address the pandemic a US$10M HIV/AIDS Prevention & Control project, financed by the World Bank, is proposed with the aims of reducing infection and to prolong and improve the quality of life of people with HIV/AIDS.

According to the World Bank document, the Ministry of Health will be the implementing agency for the project.

An inter-sectoral committee will provide the policy guidance and promote the active involvement of all sectors and organisations in implementing HIV/AIDS management actions, create partnerships, mobilise resources and monitor implementation of all the initiatives.

The report said that the National AIDS Programme Secretariat (NAPS) would co-ordinate the implementation of the programmes by 'line' ministries, regional health authorities, Regional AIDS Committees (RAC), the private sector, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), other civil society organisations and community-based group.

The project is part of the World Bank Multi-Country HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control for the Caribbean. It will provide grant financing for a significant part of the government's national HIV/AIDS strategic plan 2002-2006.

An environmental assessment will be undertaken and an environmental management plan adopted by the government before project appraisal. The assessment will address the regulatory framework as well as the risks linked to poor management of healthcare waste and the capacity and healthcare waste management practices. WHO/PAHO will provide technical support for the assessment.

The project will support a number of factors critical for sustainability including the creation of an enabling policy and legal environment with strong political support and leadership for dealing with HIV/AIDS and also a legal and regulatory framework to address issues of stigma and discrimination.

The World Bank document said that the highest number of cases of HIV/AIDS occurs in the 20-49 years age group, peaking in the 30-34 years age group.

It said that the rate of increase of AIDS cases is higher in females than in males. While females account for 38% of total AIDS cases, they outnumber men in the 15-19 and the 20-24 years age groups.

An estimated 1,300 people died from AIDS in 2001, the report said The report said that the predominant mode of transmission of HIV and others sexually transmitted infections in Guyana is sexual contact while commercial sex work, poverty and high population mobility are all factors that contribute to the increased spread of HIV/AIDS.