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In aid of HIV

marciadottin, [email protected]

In aid of HIV

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RIVER BAY, St Lucy, was a sea of red yesterday as hundreds came out to make a stand against HIV and AIDS stigma and discrimination at a national rally in commemoration of World AIDS Day on December 1.
Barbadians, wearing T-shirts promoting safe sex messages and proclaiming messages of love, support and activism for people living with AIDS, braved the overcast skies and boarded the 25-plus buses that moved off from Warrens, St Michael, and Fairchild Street, The City.
Jacqui Wiltshire-Gay, director of the National HIV/AIDS Commission – the organizers of the picnic – said the effort was to mobilize Barbadians and make them aware that the fight was not over against the pandemic.
She reported that while gains had been made over the past seven years, such as the elimination of mother-to-child infection and increased condom usage, focus needed to be shifted to the 15-to-19 age group.
“The trends are showing that . . . they are still not taking a responsible approach to their sexuality. They are still taking risks and more infections are occurring in that age group so we have to dedicate more effort, resources and time to that age group,” she told the DAILY NATION.
Also a problem in that group would be the men who are having sex with men.
“We intend to do more interventions specifically targeted to them,” she continued.
Minister of Social Care Steve Blackett reminded picnickers that Government continued to provide support mechanisms such as free anti-retroviral drugs, clothing and food provisions, which were made available through the Welfare Department. (LW)