Today, the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment launched a Week of Activities to commemorate World Aids Day 2016.
World AIDS Day is observed on December 1st each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate the lives of people who have died from the disease.
This year’s International theme is “Leadership. Commitment. Impact” and the local theme is “Hands Up For HIV Prevention”.
Delivering remarks during today’s launch, Luke Browne, Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment said while a lot of work has been done locally in the fight against HIV/AIDS, there is still more work to be done.
Minister Browne said the country continues to partner with international partners to make gains in the fight.
Tamara Bobb, Epidemiologist, said currently 1.2 percent of the nation’s population is HIV positive and they will continue to work to lower this number over the next five years.
Meanwhile, Azonya Vanloo, Deputy Director of the HIV/AIDS Unit in the Ministry of Health said the issues of Stigma and Discrimination continue to erode the gains made in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
A promotional video dubbed “Take The Challenge End Aids” was also launched today.
The activities will continue tomorrow with a Public Speaking Competition at the School of Nursing and this will be followed by a March and Rally on December 1st.