The path to ending Jamaica’s HIV epidemic begins with low-barrier access to testing, treatment and prevention, all areas of focus for I’m Ready Jamaica Although Jamaica has made significant progress in HIV testing and treatment, we are continuing to see high rates of new HIV diagnoses that are not going down. The most recent update from the Ministry of Health and Wellness of Jamaica (MOHW) indicated a total of 1,600 new HIV diagnoses in 2019.

Testing is a necessary step to ensuring that every person in Jamaica living with HIV has access to life-saving support and treatment, yet it remains a barrier for many. In 2020, approximately 16% of people living with HIV in Jamaica were still not diagnosed, meaning that over 5,000 individuals living with HIV are unaware of their status.

HIV self-testing has an important place in global HIV response strategies. In 2016, the World Health Organization recommended HIV self-testing as an alternative to conventional facility-based testing, meaning testing that needs to happen with a healthcare provider in a designated setting.

HIV self-testing is fast, low-barrier, and is a highly effective screening tool.  

The need for a new HIV testing paradigm in Jamaica 

Here in Jamaica, the approval to use  is a new  opportunity to reach people who are undiagnosed and close the gap in the response.

Looking ahead: embracing HIV self-testing’s potential in Jamaica 

With HIV self-testing now available in Jamaica, the time is right for national leadership and coordinated strategies to implement and scale-up testing options so we can reach everyone who can benefit from access to testing, care and prevention—and end the epidemic in Jamaica.

Our I’m Ready Jamaica program is one such coordinated national strategy to reach the undiagnosed in Jamaica through HIV self-testing and by supporting connections to care and prevention.