US donates $US1.5M to support 8,700 persons living with HIV in Guyana

The United States government under the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has donated an addition US$1.5M to support the 8,700 people living with the Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) in Guyana.

A statement from the Ministry of Health noted that the support aims to ensure that all have access to life-saving medication.

According to UNAIDS 2019 statistics, there are 8,700 adults and children living with HIV in Guyana of which 8,300 are 15 years and older.

In January, Minister Dr Frank Anthony announced that Guyanese will be allowed to self-test for HIV that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and that more at-risk persons would be given preventative drugs.

He was at the time addressing the launch of the HIV National Strategic Plan but gave no timeframe by which self-testing would actually start.

The U.S. Government has provided more than $185 million to combat HIV in Guyana since 2004. Through our partnership, Guyana has made significant strides in combatting HIV. The country has diagnosed 94 percent of people living with HIV, surpassing the “first 90” UNAIDS target, the Ministry disclosed.

The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is a global health program launched in 2003 to combat and limit the spread of the HIV/AIDS disease.  PEPFAR represents the largest commitment in history made by a nation to a single disease.  Through PEPFAR, as of September 30, 2012, the U.S. directly supported more than 5.1 million people on antiretroviral treatment (ART).