The National HIV/STI Programme (NHP) located within the Ministry of Health was mandated by the Government of Jamaica to coordinate and lead the implementation of the national HIV/AIDS response. The NHP is an expansion of the former Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Control Programme, which had been established in 1930.
Since the inception of the NHP in 1986, its implementation arm has been expanded to involve the health sector’s four Regional Health Authorities and five sector ministries – Labor and Social Security, National Security, Local Government, Education, and Tourism. The NHP also provides technical and financial support for the National AIDS Committee (NAC) created in 1988 and strengthened since then to expand the multisectoral support.
As the programme’s capacity expanded, so did its collaboration with funding agencies, other public sector organizations, and the rest of civil society. By the end of 2006, the cadre of implementing agencies involved in the national response included all government ministries, the tripartite team of government, employers and workers, the business sector and non-governmental organizations including faith-based entities. All have been supported through technical and financial inputs from NHP.
Currently, the National HIV/STI Programme (NHP) is largely funded by a US$236 billion grant from the Global Fund supported project 2008 – 2012. During its early years, the NHP was expanded by the Government of Jamaica through a loan from the World Bank. Today, the World Bank continues to support the NHP along with many other agencies. These agencies include: United States AID (USAID), the German Technical Corporation (GTZ), the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), World Health Organization (WHO), CAREC, UNAIDS and other UN agencies. Those agencies have played significant roles in the development and progress of the programme.
The National AIDS Committee
The National AIDS Committee through its National Executive committee, five subcommittees and 13 Parish AIDS Associations has been working consistently since 1988 to broaden the multi-sectoral response. This body has grown to include stakeholders from all sectors of society. Such stakeholders participate as members of the five sub committees – Legal and Ethical; Education; Fund-raising; International Development Partners; Treatment Care and Support.
The National AIDS Committee (NAC) provides legal assistance to PLWH and advocacy services for supportive legislation through its team of lawyers on the Legal and Ethical sub committee and lobbies for improved awareness of stigma and discrimination issues. Through the NAC, there is advocacy to and sensitization of high-level political and private sector leaders and those of the legal fraternity.
For more information, visit National Aids Committee of Jamaica