Why Is Barbados HIV Infection Rate 50% Higher Than The Caribbean Average?

“In the Caribbean the infection rate is 1.2% and here in Barbados it’s around 1.8%,”

…Dr Carol Jacobs, Barbados National Aids Commission talking to BBC (link here)

Barbados HIV Infection Rate Is 50% Higher Than Regional Average!

Once in a while we see an interesting convergence of news on the internet and this week it is happening with HIV-Aids news.

First we had the head of the Barbados Family Planning Association saying that medical professionals should not notify spouses if their husband or wife has been diagnosed HIV positive. The vast majority of our readers were appalled at George Griffith’s idiocy and many said so commenting on our article Barbados Family Planning Association Head: If The Husband Has HIV/Aids, Don’t Tell The Wife !

In Barbados, George Griffith thinks that the priority is protecting the man with HIV at the expense of his women partners. In Canada, they just locked up a man with HIV for having unprotected sex. He got 18 years in prison!

Then we had Barbados Government Minister Sinckler having to defend Barbados’s human rights record before the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review process in Geneva, Switzerland. Sinckler stated that Barbados would not be decriminalising homosexual acts or distributing condoms in prison “until such time as a full and proper national discourse on the issues can be engaged,

Such time for a national discourse on these subjects being NEVER according to successive Barbados governments – and the DLP Thompson government is no different.

Barbados Free Press long ago addressed the issue of condoms in prison in our article Barbados Government Hypocrisy: Condoms, AIDS, HIV and Dodds Prison. As we said again in May of this year…

The hypocrisy, lies and horse manure being spread by Dr. Byer-Suckoo and the Barbados Government would be humorous – except that real people are going to die because of it.

The truth is that the Government of Barbados does not wish to distribute condoms to the men in Dodds prison because homosexual sex is against the law in Barbados. The government cannot bring itself to distribute condoms in the prison knowing that the rubbers will be used by men for homosexual sex.

Nor can the government bring itself to legalise homosexual sex so that condoms could be made available to men in prison without any legal or political arguments about facilitating criminal behaviour.

That is the truth about why the government will not be distributing condoms to the prisoners.

With such policies, you can expect that our HIV infection rate will continue to be 50% higher than the rest of the Caribbean. The government knows it could do something about it in Dodds Prison but will not. Meanwhile we lock up healthy young men for years with only other men and tell them to control their urges because it would be immoral and illegal for us to give them access to condoms. I mean, our last Prime Minister dropped babies all over the place because he couldn’t control his urges, so how do we expect young men in jail to be celibate?


Filed under Barbados, Health

31 responses to “Why Is Barbados HIV Infection Rate 50% Higher Than The Caribbean Average?

  1. Barbados would be quite a study for those involved in analysis of social standards.

    On the one hand, while professing to be a ‘Christian’ society, there are few societies more liberal ‘behind closed doors’ than Barbados.

    However, such liberation does not come without virulent attacks in public on those seen as ‘deviant’, in addition to draconian laws pertaining to personal human behaviours.

    One would have to make a decision as to whether this hypocritical stance comes from arrogance with disdain for others, from shame at personal desires or from pure malicious intent, living as one wants but chastising others for their own behaviours.

    The reality is, that how can one possibly not expect a high rate of STD’s when it is generally accepted for a woman to have three to five children, most from different men, it is generally accepted for a man to have three or four girlfriends, it is generally accepted for a man to have a wife, children and a girlfriend, and even for a man to have a wife and be ‘down low’.

    Certain problems must result from such norms, despite public posturing on ‘values’ etc.

    Ironically and maybe for the good, Barbadians are so set in their ways, that this is the same thing that would make it very difficult for such things as religious extremism to take a foothold.

    Nevertheless, in civil liberties, Barbadian society is substantially in much better state than most other countries.

  2. Hants

    Barbados probably has a high HIV rate because too many people are NOT using condoms.
    Combine this with a dense population,poverty and all the sexually charged events like “cropover”, events on the hill and we have a platform for STDs.

    Until Bajans use condoms every time they have a sexual encounter, HIV will continue to spread.

  3. The Scout

    Now what do you people expect? With the amount of sex/nude shows in Barbados both public and private, with the amount of prostitute who gravitate to Barbados to make some quick money, with the amount of ads you see daily in the nespaper for exotic masseuses with salaries/wages averaging about Bds $2000.00 per wk and escorts avewraging Bds. $ 5000.00 per wk. All of this comes with STD’s, HIV’s and drugs. If only some of you know what goes on in Barbados at ALL levels, when the sun goes down, especially on week-ends. Barbados, hell’s kitchen.

  4. Hants

    from the Nationnews

    “MORE THAN 800 people living with HIV have not returned for treatment after being diagnosed with the disease.”

    Scary stuff.

  5. J

    There is no need to legalize homosexuality.

    However we should de-criminalize CONSENSUAL buggery.

    We should vigourously prosecute ALL non-consensual sex.

    Right now male homosexual acts are illegal, however in my more than 50 years in Barbados I have NEVER heard of a case where any man was prosecuted for a consensual homosexual act.

    So since we NEVER prosecute for consensual acts why are the acts still criminal?

    And besides female homosexual acts are not illegal.

    So therefore we are discriminating against men.

    I am surprised that Barbadian men tolerate this discrimination.

    Barbadian men should DEMAND that their government change the law to reflect the historical and present reality.

  6. J

    If we changed the law condoms could be distributed in prison by medical professionals, just the same as medical professionals currently distribute immunizations (preventative) in prison.

    We need to ask ourselves this question, if a vaccine ever become available for HIV. Will we deny prisoners that vaccine? Do we for example deny prisoners measles/mumps/rebella vaccine?

    The buggery law hasn’t been changed because the members of Parliament (BLP and DLP) have no balls.

    Sexuality transmitted diseases have ALWAYS been rampant in Barbados because Barbados has always been a small port community. Port communities commonly have hight rates of both prostitution and of sexually transmitted diseases.

    I remember back in the mid-70’s learning that Barbados had the third highest rate of cervical cancer in the WORLD. Genital herpes, a sexuality transmitted disease is a precusor of cervical cancer. Many of our respectable, church-going mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, were at one time or another infected by genital herpes, syphilis, gonorerhea etc.

    The time is long past when we should have taken our heads out of the sand.

    I do however have my doubts as to whether our HIV rate is 50% higher than the rest of the Caribbean. I expect that we collect better statistics in Barbados, and that the infection rate in the rest of the Caribbean is the same 1.8% as Barbados’.

  7. The Scout

    I made a posting here and it’s been delayed very long. Any matters there is libelous?


    The Govt is “frighten” to offend church goers and lose their votes. There can be NO other reason.

    Homosexuality and prostitution should be legalized and so too casinos.

    Barbadians live in a little cocoon. You can’t even go into a book store and buy ‘certain’ books… the proprietors feel the public should be ‘protected’ … also they too don’t want to offend ‘the Church.’

    Maybe one day – perhaps in the next century ? – Bajans will awaken from their slumber.

  9. The Scout

    With a country that has such a large amount of unwanteds in it, a large illegal immigrant prostitution market what do you expect? There are numerous whore houses, sex shows, exoctic masseur parlours, escort services, the like, obviously STD’s and HIV’s accompany these. Even as I post this, they are many unhealthy, sexual acts being practiced right now, with both sexes at all level of society. Only if some of you know what goes on in Barbados especially when the sun goes down and mainly at week-ends. This little country ain’t easy. There are many many guyanese prostitutes here but they are also some from T&T, Jamaica, St. Vincent, St. Lucia and a growing number from extra regional countries. Sometimes as they start fighting for space the immigration would raid a joint and deport some, I’m looking for one of them raids soon before Christmas as the numbers are increasing for the tourist season.

  10. J

    Dear BFP:

    If the word b*lls in my post offends you, you can always write testicular fortitude.


    BFP says,

    “Balls” is fine, J. We just wish that some of our government ministers had a pair so they could recover all that money that Thompson says the BLP stashed offshore when they formed the government!

  11. The Scout

    Can you imagine the Gay Association is having their 7th anniversary week of activities this week and starting with a church service today/Sunday? what the hell this little country coming to? I wonder what the pastor would preach about.

  12. J

    But Scout every time a pastor gets up tp preach he has to call sinners to repentance, and to preach God’s love and Salvation.

    So it does not matter if the congregation is gay or straight.

  13. Centipede your ‘Homosexuality and prostitution should be legalized and so too casinos’

    is going to draw some fire, got your flack jacket on?

    But it IS, ridiculous that for some strange reason we do not distribute condoms in prison.

    If this is done we can also increase checks and sentencing on prison rape, thus preventing a real problem i.e. further violation when a citizen is fulfilling a sentence, which may then become a death sentence.

    As for consensual intercourse in same sex relationships, I see no need for not legalising.

    However, the issue is further checks and preventions, including tough sentencing, on corrupting minors.

    This means that promiscous activities in view of minors could lead to stiff sentencing (no pun intended), etc.

    In terms of prostitution, if legalised within a framework, this will lead to regular, consistent checks for STD’s, to maintain the ‘registration card’.

    If a ‘lady’ refuses to show the card to a customer, that will show that there is something amiss.

    Possibly have a huge, say five year prison term, for forging of these cards, to prevent attempts to bypass the licensing framework. This would apply to forger and ‘lady’ so convicted.

    This framework should reduce STD’s, bring more tax revenue into the treasury, as a registration will bring these ‘ladies’ into the net, and even reduce maltreatment of ‘ladies’ by unscrupulous ‘managers’ i.e. reduce trafficing in the ‘trade’.


  14. Karia

    Its interesting to hear some commenatators refer to homosexuals and prostitutes when speaking about the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Barbados. This group is responsible for a small percentage of this tragedy. I dare say we must focus on those Barbadians who see it as their right to perform diverse sexual acts justified by their financial and social status on the island.
    At the end of the night these men and women go home to their partners and the spread of HIV/AIDS continues.
    In the privacy of those lavish homes around our beautiful island after the sun goes down sordid behaviour goes hand in hand with having that glass of wine and socialising in grand style. Come lets look within before we start pointing our fingers at certain communities.
    The education towards safe sex must start in the schools, churches, mosque, synagogues, literature at the ports of entry anywhere where there are people socializing for whatever reason. Until this is done the stats will continue to rise and all of us will look at our partners/lovers with fear in our eyes due to the lack of trust. Come on lets eradicate this dreadful disease before Barbados becomes a ghost town like so many societies around the world.

  15. Sargeant

    In Barbados, George Griffith thinks that the priority is protecting the man with HIV at the expense of his women partners. In Canada, they just locked up a man with HIV for having unprotected sex. He got 18 years in prison!


    George Griffith must be one of your favourite whipping boys for you to repeat that canard about him protecting men at the expense of women from contracting HIV. For the record Canada also imprisons women with HIV for failing to inform their partners of their status. Just because Mr. Griffith’s views on abortion differ from yours is no reason to be cavalier with the truth.

    The reason for the higher than average incidence of HIV in Barbados? Unprotected casual sex. Until there is a radical change of an attitude which equates the wearing a condom during sexual intercourse to having a shower with a raincoat on, then don’t expect the results to change.

  16. Avatar Girl

    ok so…

    Masturbation doesn’t even count anymore?

    Self-love is the BEST love, I will always say! If everybody put their urges into that, HIV will be loooong gone in about 3 decades!

    Masturbation WORKS! AND it’s best for the prisoners, too!

    NO STDs, NO AIDS, not even a hairy hand! But your fingers WILL get the necessary exercise! That’s how I learnt to type so well!

    No problems in pleasuring yourself whatsoever! So try it, everyone! It’s a lot less sinful & illegal than forced homosexuality, at any rate!

  17. Hants

    Has anyone considered housing prisoners in single cells?

    Remove the opportunity for privacy in the prison and the problem will be solved.
    Video cameras should be installed in all communal areas.
    Prison should not be a hotel.

    Avatar Girl you have a great theory but some men have big egos and are willing to risk their health just to score.

  18. The Scout

    You serious? To house all prisoners in single cells would mean donating a parish as a prison and spend a billion dollars building that prison. The new one just built is bursting at the seams already and the paint still new.

  19. Hants

    @ The scout,

    good point.

    Then they should test all current prisoners for HIV and all prisoners entering and leaving prison should be tested and made to start treatment before they are released.

    Condoms in prison would help.

    HIV/Aids is an epedimic killer disease and must be fought at every level.

  20. Lady Anon

    Simple answer…people are having nuff sex wid nuff people without condoms.

  21. Avatar Girl

    @ Hants,

    Why thank you, sweetie! But to be quite honest…

    You think that scoring with a MAN is better than taking your own business IN HAND, so to speak? Personally, I’d respect a man who prefers himself rather than his own “bro” in prison! I know I prefer myself…and I’m a one-girl girl!

    Just a thought…

  22. Fishpot

    I agree with Rumple on this one. Control it ,tax it and eliminate the pimps who abuse these girls that have lost their way for one reason or another. Avatar Girl how about if a fellow was a good friend of yours and he would help you out with only his hand, you would go for that? Remember. A friend in need is a friend in deed.

  23. Fishpot,

    Your last sentence there addressed to Avatar, is sounding kind of hopeful, LOL.

    Down boy…just kidding 😉

  24. de gap

    The foreign trollops gave me the AIDS; no it was the big botsey girls; no I meant the health minister; then again, it might have been the fancy bullahs or the planned parenthood people, but I really thing that white folk are mixed up in this someway somehow….

  25. Hants

    @ Avatar Girl says,

    “I know I prefer myself…and I’m a one-girl girl!”

    You have to be extra careful and protect yourself from Bi-Girls.

    The fact is people are doing nuff different things with multiple partners and that is what is spreading HIV/Aids.

    We may not be able to change peoples behaviour but they must be informed of the need to use condoms.

  26. red missy

    Giving condoms to prisioners might not help either since we on the outside have condoms freely avaliable and still refuse to use them prefering to feel some skin .I heard that guys are pretending to put on a condom but have a hole cut in the end of the nipple -like part so they can feel skin.I think we need more self respect and control starting from young this instant gratification and macho life style is going to kill us all.
    God knew us so well that is why he said no sex before marriage because he could foresee the consequences of our behaviour diseases and unhappiness no good role models to guide the young.None of God’s people were perfect by they were constantly striving to do the right.

  27. Choco Kit

    I totally agree with red missy. It boils down to a lack of self control and a warped mentality of sex and sexuality. If we legalise things that are sexually immoral we continue to propagate such misconceptions of human sexuality and what it should be. We are all to blame for condoning the blatant exposure of our children to flipant sexual behaviour in the media. Our society has made light of sex and sexuality and has not presented a true picture of the serious consequences of sexual immorality. And all for what??? The almighty dollar…let’s not forget, sex sells! While condomising will help the ultimate and safest solution is to encourage abstainance among our young people, who have proven through such statistics, that while their bodies may be developed, they are not mentally mature enough to be sexually responsible! Sadly, the same seems to pertain to many other age groups in our nation…

  28. J

    Choco Kit wrote “the ultimate and safest solution is to encourage abstainance among our young people”

    This of course is also a final solution

  29. Flavour of the Month

    to Avatar girl

    Are you saying that I should masturbate ?

    Am I reading correctly

  30. barbadostripadvisor

    Reblogged this on barbadostripadvisor.

  31. CC

    In Barbados, as in the rest of the Caribbean, it is critical to target the most at risk populations to effectively respond to the epidemic. Follow me on twitter: @CC_CarmenCarpio