The Barbados Parliament on Tuesday approved a plan to spend 180 million Barbados dollars, or about $90 million, over the next five years to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS in the country, Barbados' Nation News reports.
According to Minister of Community Development and Culture Steven Blackett, about 4,700 people in Barbados, or 1.7% of the population, are living with the disease (Nation News, 5/28).
Under the country's National Strategic Plan for HIV Prevention and Control 2008-2013, HIV treatment programs will account for $46.4 million, and $16.5 million will be allocated for prevention efforts, the Caribbean Media Corporation reports. In addition, $10.1 million will be used for care and support services, $14.6 million will be allocated for program management and institutional performance, and $2.1 million will be used for monitoring and evaluation.
During the parliamentary debate, Blackett said that more funding is needed for HIV prevention programs. "I believe that the way forward in this regard is to reallocate or provide a larger chunk of funds for the question of prevention, bringing some balance and narrowing the disparity, narrowing the divide between treatment, care and support and prevention" (Caribbean Media Corporation, 5/28). According to the News, projected spending for 2008-2009 is about $12 million and about $15.4 million for 2009-2010. Parliament on Tuesday also debated the country's National HIV Policy, the News reports (Nation News, 5/28).