Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations
USAID, Merck Partner for $200,000, Five-Year Grant To Fight HIV/AIDS in Jamaica
USAID and U.S. drug company Merck on Monday announced a five-year, $200,000 grant to help combat HIV/AIDS in Jamaica, the Associated Press reports. The funds -- which include $40,000 from Merck and $160,000 over five years from USAID -- will be used to establish an HIV/AIDS monitoring system in Jamaica and finance awareness campaigns to help fight stigma associated with the disease. Jamaica AIDS Support, a nongovernmental group on the island, will administer the funds, according to the Associated Press. Merck Regional Director Ramon Riancho said that the company will continue to provide access to lower-cost antiretroviral treatment in developing countries, the Associated Press reports. U.S. Ambassador Sue Cobb said, "HIV/AIDS is truly a global problem and it requires a ... public/private partnership approach" (Associated Press, 6/14). Of the approximately 22,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in Jamaica, 6,000 require antiretroviral treatment; however, only 500 HIV-positive people in the country currently receive the medications (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/19). According to USAID, AIDS-related illnesses are the leading cause of death among women between ages 20 and 29 in Jamaica (Associated Press, 6/14).
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