Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 03, 2019 (SKNIS): As St. Kitts and Nevis joined the global community in the observance of World AIDS Day on December 01, 2019, under the theme “Communities Make the Difference”, Minister of State with responsibility for Health, Honourable Wendy Phipps, said that communities “are powerful and positive agents for change in the lives of persons affected by AIDS.”
She said that St. Kitts and Nevis joined in the observance of this day, “as a show of solidarity with all persons living with HIV/AIDS, and in remembrance of all those individuals whose lives were taken by the epidemic.”
Minister Phipps went on to say that “it is the communities’ strong response to AIDS, that will make a major difference in ensuring that all persons affected by AIDS remain at the centre of care.”
As a result, the Honourable Minister added that the Ministry of Health must do more to improve St. Kitts and Nevis’ HIV/AIDS statistics. She then went on to say that her department has embarked on a number of initiatives to assist in this endeavour.
She said that these initiatives include “an increase in the number of laboratory technicians to handle testing loads; the recruitment of a Case Manager and addition Health Educators assigned to the National HIV/AIDS Programme; the roll-out of the electronic case-based surveillance system; and the improved engagement and support of CSOs to assist with public education, reaching vulnerable groups, and increasing advocacy for those who are affected by HIV/AIDS.”
In observance of World AIDS Day 2019, the National AIDS Secretariat, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, planned a number of activities to assist with bringing awareness to HIV/AIDS.
These activities include Testing Day in Independence Square on 6th December, the Development and Dissemination of a Condom Campaign Public Service Announcement Video throughout the month of December, and a Weekly Outreach Re: Education and Testing throughout the month of December to be done at the 11 health centres on St. Kitts.