JIS News

The Ministry of Water and Housing implemented a number of strategies aimed at raising awareness about HIV/AIDS and other Sexually Transmitted infections (STI’s) as the nation joined the world last week in observing Safer Sex Week under the theme “Condom is a must – Know your status”.
Consultant/Co-ordinator for the HIV/AIDS Workplace Programme in the Ministry, Monica Dystant, outlined the strategies which were planned for the week.
They included bulk SMS (Text) messages on the issue of HIV/AIDS, which were sent out to some 200-employees of the Ministries of Water and Housing and Transport and Works on Valentine’s Day, February 14. The messages were sent out in association with Digicel and marks the first time that this application was utilized in regard to the HIV/AIDS Workplace Programme.
According to Mrs. Dystant, the intention is, in the near future, to increase the number of employees who receive messages in this format, regarding the HIV/AIDS Workplace Policy.
The Ministry also launched a web page specific to the HIV/AIDS Workplace Programme hosted on the Ministry of Transport and Works’ website at www.mtw.gov.jm. This website has been fed with information specific tothe programme since January 2007.
The Safer Sex Week strategy also included DVD viewings in the Ministry regarding Healthy Lifestyles with specific emphasis on HIV/AIDS, as well as the distribution to employees of promotional items from Logostitch on the message of Safer Sex Week.
A sensitization workshop on the HIV/AIDS workplace policy will be held later this month.
Ministry employees also got the chance to win prizes such as key rings, drinking glasses, collapsible cups and buttons by participating in quizzes on the HIV/AIDS Workplace Policy.
Mrs. Dystant noted that the strategies were employed to improve HIV/AIDS knowledge and prevention; improve knowledge about the HIV/AIDS workplace principles as well as increase knowledge and change attitudestowards persons living with the disease.