PM appeals to UN for reallocation of HIV/AIDS funds

KINGSTON, Jamaica: Prime Minister Bruce Golding has made an appeal to the United Nations to revisit the criteria for allocating funds to fight HIV/AIDS, as it is not possible for the government to divert funds and resources from other urgent priority areas to fight the disease.

Golding said he is concerned about the UN criteria which specify that Jamaica, which has recently been designated as a high middle income country, will not be eligible for funding assistance from the Global Fund as of 2013.

Addressing a high level Leaders Consultation on Stigma, Discrimination and Gender Inequality affecting Jamaica’s HIV/AIDS Response, he said the Minister of Health, Rudyard Spencer, will place before a UN meeting in June the needs of Jamaica before they reallocate and re-designate countries.

He also appealed for a special submission to be made for the struggle against HIV/AIDS in terms of containment.

Part of the consultation saw the signing of a declaration of commitment to eliminate stigma, discrimination and gender inequality affecting Jamaica’s HIV/AIDS Response 2011.

Golding noted that this signaled the commitment of the leaders of the country to continue the effort to break down the walls of humiliation and prejudice associated with HIV/AIDS.

“There is so much more that is going to have to be done in terms of sensitization. We don’t have a problem in treating people who develop diabetes and so on but we still have a problem with people with HIV/AIDS,” he said.

Golding commended key players who have been leading the fight against stigma, discrimination and gender inequality issues which affect Jamaicans living with HIV/AIDS. He also applauded the work done through legislation to fight the stigma of the disease.

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