Social protection is key to reducing HIV risk | News

Government-provided social protection is key to reducing the disadvantages and inequalities that make people vulnerable to HIV infection, while mitigating the impact of HIV on households and helping people with the virus to overcome barriers to accessing treatment.

Speaking at a recent JIS think tank, Treka Lewis, Secretary General of the Department of Local Government and Rural Development’s Oversight Council, noted that it takes more than the health component to address the issues facing people. living with HIV (PLHIV) face. .

“It needs social coordination, and that’s where Jamaica’s social protection strategy…helps cushion and support the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) program to target and helping people living with HIV,” she noted.

“Social protection plays a vital role in advancing the work of the MOHW for PLHIV and also provides… lays the foundation for services that we should all be able to access when needed,” she added.

Social protection in Jamaica refers to arrangements that employ public and private initiatives, guided by state policies, to prevent, address and reduce the risk of poverty and vulnerability caused by loss or interruption of income.

The goal, Lewis said, “is to secure a standard of living above specified levels, through effective social, economic and labor market policies that support lifelong income security.”

Lewis said the concept of a social protection floor, which is an approach that recognizes the provision of certain minimum levels of benefits and services, specifically to support vulnerable groups within society, is key to extending the social protection coverage.

Among the vulnerable groups, she pointed out, are young mothers living with HIV and those who face the most barriers in accessing HIV and social protection programmes.

Lewis said Jamaica’s social protection strategy was developed in response to the country’s commitment to ensuring the safety of all its residents and citizens.

She noted that Vision 2030 Jamaica envisions a strong framework for social protection in line with the goal of empowering all Jamaicans to realize their full potential.

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Joel C. Hicks