In commemoration of World AIDS Day 2015, the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts partnered with several key stakeholders in sensitizing the general public on the virus. The event was hosted by the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services at the Brian Lara promenade on Tuesday 1st December, 2015.
Minister of Social Development and Family Service the Honourable Cherrie-Ann Crichlow-Cockburn in her feature address encouraged persons to make a conscious effort to condemn discrimination as they partner together to win the fight against HIV/AIDS. She further insisted that “This initiative begins with changing attitudes and limiting challenges”.
The theme of this year’s commemoration is “Getting to Zero: Zero New HIV Infections, Zero Discrimination and Zero AIDS Related Deaths”. This laid the foundation for the information relayed by the stakeholders in attendance. Participating organisations and agencies included RAPPORT, Red Cross Society, UNESCO, NWRHA and Rape Crisis.
One major highlight of the day’s activities was a march from Chacon Street to St. Vincent Street led by Minister Crichlow-Cockburn. The commemoration concluded with the formation of an HIV Human Ribbon that was displayed by children and members of the Cyril Ross Nursery.
Also incorporated in the outreach activity were Moko Jumbies and drummers courtesy the Best Village Unit of the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts and HIV Co-ordinator of the Ministry, Keitha Kennedy.
Statistically there are 14, 300 persons as of 2014 living with HIV/AIDS in Trinidad and Tobago, mainly between the ages of 15-49. There has, however been a dramatic decrease in deaths within the last few years. This information was highlighted as persons were encouraged to get tested at the Mobile Screening Units stationed at the venue.
The Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts was pleased to partner for this very important awareness initiative in commemoration of World AIDS Day 2015.
HIV Coordinator of the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts writes her views on the Pledge Board.