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The Carib Indians lived on Saint Lucia until the 1600s, when settlers attempted to take control of the island to boost European trade. The Caribs fought and stopped multiple attempts by the English and French to settle on the island. In 1651, a member of the French West India Company purchased the land from the Caribs to make it a French colony, and the English immediately sent 1,000 men to take back the island. This fighting continued until 1814, when the French ceded Saint Lucia to the English. Saint Lucia was one of the last European colonies to declare independence. The country became independent within the British Commonwealth in 1979 and has a thriving, peaceful economy, and sovereign government.
St. Lucia is known for its healthy population and above average life expectancy compared to other Caribbean Islands. The health care system is directed by the Ministry of Health, which provides two basic types of health services free of charge: preventive care and curative services. Government health services are offered throughout the country, which is divided into six health districts. The island has thirty-three health clinics, two district hospitals, two general hospitals, and one psychiatric hospital. The most complete facilities are located near Castries and Vieux Fort. St. Lucia has 3,670 nurses, 755 doctors, and 55 dentists. To reach the entire population with some form of health care service, the Ministry of Health adopted a plan to train health care workers in various types of technical services to assist doctors and nurses with health care.
HIV/AIDS in Saint Lucia is a low-prevalence epidemic. The epidemic is concentrated among the most at-risk groups including men who have sex with men, commercial sex workers, and other groups including prisoners and drug users. Trends in HIV transmission are linked to increased poverty and social disintegration with significantly higher levels of HIV now being identified in a number of vulnerable population groups. There are approximately 1,101 people living with HIV/AIDS in St. Lucia. The prevalence rate is 0.6%.
The HIV and AIDS response consists of prevention activities that have been mostly provided through non-governmental organizations and care and treatment provided mostly by the Ministry of Health. The country ensures access to combination prevention options, including pre-exposure prophylaxis, voluntary medical male circumcision, harm reduction and condoms, to at least 90% of people, especially young women and adolescent girls in high-prevalence and key population, gay men and other men who have sex with men, transgender people, sex workers and their clients, people who inject drugs, and prisoners.
There have been 12,517 infections and 253 coronavirus-related deaths reported in the country since the pandemic began. Saint Lucia has administered at least 87,446 doses of vaccines so far. Assuming every person needs 2 doses, about 23.9% of the country’s population has been vaccinated.
In 2019, the HCV prevalence in St. Lucia was 2.02%. There are 3,527 people living with HCV in St. Lucia.
Learn More About the HIV/AIDS and COVID-19 Situation in St. Lucia
- COVID-19 Status: There have been 12,517 infections and 253 coronavirus-related deaths reported in the country since the pandemic began.
- HIV Prevalence: 1,101 people are living with HIV.
- AIDS Prevalence: 0.6% of population.
- HCV Prevalence: 2.02% of population.