Medical Officer of Health for St. Catherine, Dr Francia Prosper-Chen, has reported that only a few people in St. Catherine are using condoms, adding that many young people don’t know how to protect themselves against HIV|AIDS.
She made the declaration last evening (February 20) during a community meeting at St. Helen’s Roman Catholic Church Hall in Linstead, St. Catherine, where she gave an overview of the situation regarding HIV|AIDS in the parish, including the Linstead area.
Dr. Prosper-Chen told the relatively large gathering: “Last year we had 186 new cases [of HIV|AIDS] diagnosed in this parish. Linstead had 27 which is 14.5 percent of the new cases. The prevalence of HIV in St. Catherine is higher than the national prevalence.”
The Medical Officer of Health noted that St. Catherine parish has the third highest burden of HIV|AIDS on the island – behind St. James and Kingston and St. Andrew.
“Interestingly enough, when we do the surveys, only 35 percent of young people were able to correctly identify two ways – just two ways of preventing transmission,” Dr. Prosper-Chen further said.
“I will tell you now [that] very few of our people are using condoms,” she added.
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