Home-based care scheme key in HIV/AIDS fight
Guyana Chronicle
February 17, 2007

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MINISTER of Health Dr. Leslie Ramsammy says Guyana’s home-based care programme for people living with HIV/AIDS is an integral part of the national response in fighting the disease and it could help in reducing stigma and discrimination.

Speaking Thursday at the opening of the first conference on home-based care, Ramsammy said that important to the national response is getting families of infected persons involved.

People living with HIV/AIDS face discrimination by families who neglect or abandon them altogether, he noted.

He said the home-based care programme, which now reaches 1,000 persons, is imperative to a high-quality HIV response.

The home-based programme also allows families to be able to better understand HIV/AIDS and thus help to reduce discrimination, the minister said.

He said the number of persons who benefit from the home-based care programme amounts to 25 per cent of the total number of persons living with HIV/AIDS who are on treatment for the disease.

For Guyana, he said, that is an impressive figure when compared to other countries.

Ramsammy said that four years ago this initiative was virtually non-existent, except for the pioneering work of G Plus, an organization of people living with HIV/AIDS.

Today, the Ministry of Health/National AIDS Programme Secretariat works with five organizations in providing home-based care, he reported.