Over the past 20 years, the Jamaica Red Cross has executed various programmes locally and regionally to arrest and mitigate the impact of HIV and AIDS. The Jamaica Red Cross is a part of the International Red Cross Movement consisting of over 186 national societies across the globe. With the aim of “improving the lives of the vulnerable through developing capacity to mobilize critical resources and promote humanitarian activities”, the Jamaica Red Cross is guided by 7 fundamental principles of Humanity, Impartiality, Neutrality, Independence, Voluntary Service, Unity and Universality.
As a strategic partner in the National Response to HIV in Jamaica, the Jamaica Red Cross is integrally involved in several interventions aimed at reducing new incidences of HIV whilst reducing stigma and discrimination against persons living with the virus; through fostering a safe and enabling environment.
A series of the programmes have been executed as part of the response to HIV which includes:
- The “Together We Can” HIV Peer Education which provides young people 10 -24 with information and skills to protect themselves from HIV Infection
- Anti Stigma and Discrimination which executes interventions in communities across Jamaica aimed at empowering community members to play a role in reducing stigma
- Outreach and Community Sensitization about HIV Infection and Prevention executed in schools, places of business, places of entertainment and churches
- Home Based Care for care and support of person who infected and affected by HIV
- Voluntary Counseling and Testing Services;
- Faces Print Media Campaign and
- “Safe” Radio Drama
The Jamaica Red Cross’ HIV Programme has been executed island wide with a focus on 7 Parishes/Branches, each of which has the support of a paid HIV Officer. They currently chair the Care and Counseling subcommittee of the National AIDS Committee and they also sit on the Country Coordinating Mechanism for the Global Fund. Additionally they network and partner closely with other Non- Governmental Organizations, Community Based Organizations and Faith Based Organizations on the National and Parish levels.