JIS News

Jamaica AIDS Support’s on-going fight against HIV/AIDS in western Jamaica, received a boost yesterday (June 15), when a partnership was successfully established with the Jamaica Public Service Company Limited (JPS).
The partnership will see the JPS spending some $5 million in cash and kind over a three-year period, supporting and enhancing the activities of Jamaica AIDS Support, which include a comprehensive education and sensitizing programme for the western region.
At a presentation ceremony held at the Pelican Grill Restaurant in Montego Bay, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of JPS, Charles Matthews, handed over the first tranche of $750,000.00 to Acting Executive Director of Jamaica Aids Support, Ian Cruickshank.
The organization has scheduled a number of activities, such as the distribution of condoms and demonstrations on their proper use, community group meetings, and HIV/AIDS education programme in schools from the primary to the community college levels.
In his address at the presentation ceremony, Mr. Matthews said the JPS was pleased to be associated with the work of Jamaica AIDS Support, as the group had championed the HIV/AIDS cause in western Jamaica since 1991. “We at JPS are well aware of the impact of HIV/AIDS on the country, affecting health care and the delivery of health services, as well as the social and economic well being of the population. HIV/AIDS in Jamaica is not just a medical concern, as it endangers our nation economically, socially and spiritually. With a threat of 68 million people dying from the disease by 2020, it is in everybody’s interest to combat HIV/AIDS,” Mr. Matthews said.
He stressed that providing funding for the activities of the organization and the fight against HIV/AIDS, was not just the right thing to do, but the wise thing to do now.
“Our partnership with Jamaica AIDS Support is our first major external move to help combat HIV/AIDS. We will seek many other opportunities to work with the organization in this area, whether through contributions in kind, seeking additional supporting funds and participation in the public education efforts.
HIV/AIDS prevention is the responsibility of each of us . Not taking a stand, not facing this challenge head on is a choice we make to our detriment,” Mr. Matthews said.

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