JIS News

Governor General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Howard Cooke has proclaimed December 1, 2005 as World AIDS Day.
The proclamation, which was read at King’s House yesterday (Nov. 24), was presented to Director of Epidemiology and AIDS in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Peter Figueroa.
Before reading the proclamation, the Governor General thanked those individuals and organizations, which have been instrumental in the fight against the disease, that has to date, has claimed 5,897 lives since it was first discovered in Jamaica in 1982. “It is my wish that God will guide more of us into this kind of service so that the diabolic effects and scourge of AIDS can be removed,” he said.
In reading the proclamation, the Governor General noted that the national response to the disease encompassed measures to prevent new HIV infections, providing treatment, care and support of those infected or affected by HIV/AIDS, mitigating the impact of the epidemic and strengthening the enabling environment.
The proclamation also sited Jamaica’s involvement in the annual observance of World AIDS Day and called for members of the general public to make a personal commitment to prevent the spread of the disease and ending stigma and discrimination.
“Whereas the theme ‘Stop AIDS: make the promise, get tested’ highlights the responsibility of every Jamaican, I Howard Cooke…do hereby proclaim the first of December World AIDS Day and encourage all Jamaicans to participate in the many and varied activities which will take place across the island,” he said.
This year’s activities will involve, among other things, a workplace workshop to be staged by the Jamaica Employers Federation on November 28 at Terra Nova Hotel; a quilt competition to be hosted by the Jamaica Network of Seropositives at Emancipation Park, while on December 1, the World AIDS Day exhibition and concert will be held at Emancipation Park, and the Jamaica AIDS Support will hold its fundraising concert at the Mas Camp Village on December 2.
This year’s observance will also seek to garner the support and commitment of Jamaica’s key opinion leaders in all sectors in efforts to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS and attract the participation of a wide cross section of the public, thereby increasing public awareness of the disease.