Guyana’s HIV/AIDS response mechanism will be given a further boost with the injection of US$5M or more than Guy$1B, compliments of the US Government.
This revelation was made by United States Ambassador to Guyana – Perry Holloway, who noted that the current efforts by the country is yielding success. “All of the indicators in Guyana have improved, they are not where everyone would like them to be but the number of people with HIV/AIDS – the trend has gone down, the number of people in treatment have gone up.”
Ambassador Holloway also commended both past and present governments for giving HIV/AIDS the response it needs. “They have come to the realization that if you do not spend the money to prevent it and to treat it, then 10 – 30 years when you have a population with lots of people with HIV/AIDS, it is an economic drain on your economy, because then you have to treat them and then they are not productive members of your economy.”
Several years ago, Guyana appeared to be on the brink of an HIV/AIDS crisis with a growing infection rate and enabling conditions for the rapid spread of the disease similar to that found in other countries, which saw exponential growth in the infection.
However, according to the US Ambassador, HIV/AIDS infection rates in Guyana have stabilized and Guyanese are assured of Laboratory and surveillance capacity to monitor and respond to the epidemic.
Ambassador Holloway reiterated that the United States of America (USA) remains committed to working with all stakeholders to expand HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment services throughout the country.
In 2015, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) had supported the government in providing anti-retroviral treatment for some 2,981 persons, while 12,284 persons benefited from testing and counseling services.
Additionally, more than 1000 orphans and vulnerable children affected by HIV/AIDS have benefited from PEPFAR’s Care and Support initiative.