Dr Timothy Roach (left) receiving the National HIV/AIDS Commission’s Cornerstone Award from Minister of Social Care Steve Blackett. (Picture by Reco Moore.)
MORE AND MORE PEOPLE in Barbados with HIV/AIDS are surviving because of the treatment, but there are many AIDS sufferers courting death by not taking their prescribed medication.
This is a concern of Dr Timothy Roach, one of the early pioneers in the AIDS fight. He said that though he had seen a vast improvement in the care and management of HIV with the price of drugs dropping from $1 500 per month to $50 per month, “we still don’t have the adherence to the medication regime”.
He was also disappointed at the level of stigma and discrimination that still remained, another “huge obstacle” to be overcome.
“We now have fantastic treatments, we have better drugs and better modes of management and the whole landscape has changed with a huge seismic shift in the landscape of treating AIDS,” Roach said shortly after accepting the National HIV/AIDS Commission’s Cornerstone Award during a ceremony at Almond Bay, Hastings, Christ Church, last Saturday night.
He was one of 50 volunteers recognised for selflessly getting into the trenches and fighting to give afflicted Barbadians hope for survival.
Speaking to the DAILY NATION after accepting the award, Roach said: “When I started in this I wanted decent and proper treatment for people with HIV. It was a devastating disease and we just had to stand thereand watch people die.”
He commended the National HIV/AIDS Commission and its predecessor, the National Advisory Committee on AIDS, for the work they had done educating Barbadians about the disease. (GC)