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Knowing Your Status is the First Step in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS – “Don’t Guess, Take Your Test” PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 14 February 2013 06:40

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson is urging persons to get tested in an effort to know their status as the country continues to observe Safer Sex Week under the theme “don’t guess, take your test”. The Minister in his message to mark the observance indicated that this is a decision that everyone can make at a personal level for their wellbeing and that of their partner.


“Knowing your status is the first step in the fight against HIV/AIDS.  Greater responsibility in ensuring safe sexual practices is key to preventing the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. This responsibility lies within all of us and is not a task for the Government alone,” he said.


He added that there needs to be increased condom use among Jamaicans. “I implore you to use a condom every time. Some of the factors driving the epidemic in Jamaica include multiple sexual partners, insufficient condom use, early initiation of sexual activity and persons living with HIV who are unaware of their status,” Dr. Ferguson explained.


The 2012 Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices and Behaviour study shows that although the majority of persons report condom use at last intercourse, the risk remains high among those with multiple partnerships, as less than half report using a condom every time during the last 10 times, and 10% report never using condoms. There has also been a significant increase in transactional sex, defined as the exchange of gifts or money for sexfrom 37% in 2008 to 54.3% in 2012. These risky practices have increased significantly among our youth.


In Jamaica, approximately 32,000 persons are currently living with the disease.



 Contact: MOH, Public Relations Unit Tel: 967-1561

You can view this press release and other information on our website at


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