Home Two Column Layout

HIV/AIDS


With the increased movement of people across borders, there is the likelihood of transnational spread of HlV/AIDS. This devastating disease threatens to eliminate many of the substantial gains and efforts made to improve health in the past century. Furthermore, it impacts on the economic growth and potential of any country as its labour force is being depleted.

Intensified efforts are needed in Barbados if in-roads are to be made against the HIV/AIDS epidemic. There is no time for delay because HIV/AIDS is unique among diseases in combining seven attributes:
 • HIV spreads very fast.
• People who contract HIV may remain infectious for many years without knowing they have the virus or showing any symptoms. The potential for spread is high.
• It reduces life expectancy, which is positively related to savings, productivity, and education.
• HIV/AIDS primarily affects young people, ages 15 to 49, who are in the prime of their lives as workers and parents just a serious health issue in Barbados but a major developmental catastrophe that threatens to dismantle the social and economic achievements of the past half-century.

AIDS cases and HIV infection rates in several countries, place the Caribbean second to sub-Saharan Africa in terms of HIV prevalence and incidence.  If countries do not have more success with prevention efforts, HIV/AIDS will have a very significant impact on mortality in the coming two decades, and 3-5% of the Gross National Product [GNP] could be spent on treatment.

The prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the adult population is posing a serious challenge to the society’s resources to prevent, as well as provide treatment and care for persons who are infected. With a case fatality rate of 75%, HIV/AIDS has the potential to decimate the productive segment of the labour fore.

A National HIV/AIDS Programme has been developed under the aegis of the Prime Minister’s Office and embraces the government sector, the private sector and non-governmental organisations. Since the first reported case in 1984 and up to June 2000, the cumulative number of reported cases of AIDS was 1,242; the total number of deaths was 1,025 and 2,525 persons tested positive for HIV. During the period 1997 to 2000, there were 590 new cases of HIV/AIDS with 388 deaths. In 2000, of the 223 deaths occurring in the age group 25 to 44 years, 60 were due to HIV/AIDS.

Read More

Tips for Flu Prevention

Guidelines

The senior health official advised persons who suspect that they may be infected to go to their doctor or to the nearest polyclinic, as soon as possible. Individuals are also advised to drink plenty of clear fluids, e.g. water or clear soup, but not fruit juices. 

Over-the-counter(selfprescribed)anti-diarrheal medications should not be taken, as they may prolong the course of the illness.

Persons should adhere to proper hygiene practices when preparing and handling foods and separation of raw and cooked foods and storage of foods at a correct temperature as some of the measures to be observed.