WHAT WE DO

HIV Education, Prevention & Linkage to Care
Treatment, Care and Support
Enabling Environment & Human Rights
Strategic Research

The HIV Education, Prevention and Linkage to Care programme of Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL) is aimed at increasing awareness about HIV/AIDS (and related issues) and also influencing positive behaviour change. This includes:

  • Providing information about HIV and risk reduction counseling;
  • Offering informational and educational materials
  • Offering sexual and reproductive health commodities
  • Encouraging and providing voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) for HIV and other STIs
  • Providing referrals to requisite services including linking people who are HIV positive to care

The programme is carried out via general information sessions with various groups from the general population as well as outreach interventions targeted at key populations at risk of contracting HIV. These include sex workers (SW), men who have sex with men (MSM), transgender persons and the hearing impaired (HI). Informational sessions are conducted in a range of locations including schools, offices, churches and street and community-based sites. The sessions include community walk and talk and mass testing events. The outreach interventions with key populations comprise both group and one-to-one peer education sessions and are conducted at private residences, nightclubs, parties and parks.

HIV testing is the main feature of JASL’s HIV Education, Prevention and Linkage to Care programme. Testing is provided at the organisation’s three locations free of cost. JASL also offers free on-site testing to interested parties. The Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) or HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) process, involves pre- and post- test counselling to ensure that individuals understand the testing procedure; has a basic understanding of HIV; has assessed their sexual risks; has outlined ways to reduce risk and are prepared to accept the results of the test. Individuals who are found to be HIV positive as well as those who may have other medical needs are linked to care or encouraged to access treatment and care services at JASL clinics free of cost.

Treatment Care and Support is a core function of Jamaica AIDS Support for Life (JASL). The organisation provides a suite of Treatment, Care and Support services through its three clinic sites in Kingston, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay. The main objective of JASL’s clinics is to serve as a user-friendly healthcare facility for the organisation’s key populations. The services provided include:

  • Clinical sessions with a medical doctor and a nurse (at least two sessions per week)
  • Adherence counseling (individual and group)
  • General counseling (individual and group)
  • Screening for Gender-based violence (GBV)
  • Sessions with a psychologist
  • Sessions with a nutritionist
  • Nutritional Support
  • Phlebotomy for CD4 and viral load testing
  • Screening for sexually transmitted infections (STI)
  • Pap Smears
  • Referrals for diagnostic tests
  • Positive Health Dignity and Prevention (PHDP) workshops
  • Support groups
  • Life Skill sessions
  • Treatment Literacy and Adherence Sessions
  • Home and hospital visits

The main objectives of the JASL’s advocacy programme are to:

  • Create an enabling environment for PLHIV and vulnerable populations and
  • Promote the exercise of human rights through information, policy and legislation.

JASL has been engaged in various advocacy initiatives including the repeal of punitive laws and other policies and legislations that infringe on the rights of persons living with HIV (PLHIV) and key groups vulnerable to HIV. The organisation has also lobbied to reduce stigma and discrimination and lack of accountability among service providers. JASL has been involved in information dissemination sessions, engagement of media, training workshops such as trainings in Gender Equality and Human Rights as well as in Violence against Women within the context of HIV. The organisation is also a part of several strategic HIV committees and partnerships with other civil society organisations (CSOs) at the national and regional levels. In addition, JASL has been an advocate for the provision of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services to persons with disabilities and key groups of women affected by violence.

JASL continuously conducts research with the target populations it serves, and has been working with other partners in the HIV sector, to inform its programmes and improve its strategies to meet the changing needs of key groups affected by HIV.
Life's Work
This is an income generating work therapy programme for persons living with HIV (PLHIV), which produces a range of quality handmade candles for purchase. Through the sale, PLHIV are able to earn an income to support themselves and their families.