Health authorities are recording a troubling rise in new HIV cases among 14 to 29 year olds, one official revealed today.
In an address at an HIV seminar for men aged 50 or over and their sons, Reverend Hughson Inniss said officials were concerned about those in the most productive age group, particular young men.
“We still have a big problem in the 14 to 29 age group; that is the future and that is of grave concern,” Inniss later told Barbados TODAY on the fringes of the seminar at the Accra Hotel.
“The majority is leaning on the male side, one time it used to be other way around but more males now,” he added.
Inniss, a former Honorary Treasurer of the Barbados Family Planning Association, said people were not using the necessary protection to prevent the spread of the disease, and he urged men in particular to “step up and take responsibility for their actions, because if each one takes responsible we going to be able to turn it around”.
However, Minister of Social Care, Constituency Empowerment and Community Development Steve Blackett spoke of the overall decline in the number of transmission.
Blackett pointed to the elimination of the mother-to-child transmission and the “wide scale distribution of the antiretrovirals there are now available across the board to all persons who are afflicted”.
“We have seen an overall reduction,” the minister reiterated.