HIV: No lifestyle change
Vast knowledge of HIV/AIDS is not resulting in positive behavioural change in Barbadians.
And according to chairman of the National HIV/AIDS Commission, Dr Nigel Taylor, until Barbadians start reflecting that knowledge in their behaviour patterns, efforts to stem the spread of HIV/AIDS will result in little success.
Taylor said that this was one reason why methods such as abstinence, fidelity and monogamous heterosexual relationships were still promoted, as well as condoms.
This he explained was not enough.
“We have the information. What is not being reflected is the behavioural modification patterns that we need to see.
“We have all the areas of educational components and educational facilitation, but we need to see it reflected in the behaviours (of Barbadians),” he stressed.
Speaking at the Barbados Vocational Training Board’s (BVTB) HIV and General Health Fair which was held at the C.Lomer Alleyne Training Centre yesterday, Taylor said that people needed to take responsibility for their actions, referring to HIV/AIDS as a national issue, and not just one which concerned the Ministry of Health or the HIV/AIDS Commission.
“HIV/AIDS is a national issue and it must continue to receive national attention, but we also require from you and from me personal commitment.”
Chairman of the BVTB, Dr George Callender, revealed that as part of the institution’s continued efforts in educating its students about HIV/AIDS, starting next year they would be introducing a module where teachers would be able to educate and offer advice to students on the topic of HIV/AIDS.
“We are going to ensure that we add a module in the teachers’ training so that every teacher is trained with the skills of presenting something on HIV/AIDS.
The way we are going to present it is not actually teaching HIV/AIDS, but rather we are going to teach them how to infuse those skills in their particular subject,” he outlined.
The health fair which is now in its sixth year, carried the theme HIV? Choose Information Not Infection, and featured various tents and activities in which students could garner information.
These included HIV counselling and testing, breast examinations, foot massages, karaoke and a road tennis competition. (RB)