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JIS News

The control and prevention of HIV and AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases was the focus of activities observing World AIDS Day in St. Mary on Friday (Dec. 1).
The event, which included a discussion on HIV/AIDS and the importance of testing for the disease, and demonstrations in the use of male and female condoms, was the culmination of a series of community outreach sessions organized by the National HIV Prevention and Control Programme.
As part of the sessions, health education seminars and free HIV testing were offered at the Richmond Training Centre on November 28; in Stewart Town on November 29; and at the Castleton United Church on November 30.
In addition to providing free testing and information, members of the public were sensitized about the need to be humane towards victims of the disease, and resist any temptation to discriminate against them because of their illness.
Marco Thomas, Community Health Educator for the St. Mary Health Department, said he was pleased with the level of public support and participation in the outreach sessions and expressed satisfaction that the intended aims and objectives was largely achieved.
He told JIS News that a total of 90 persons in the four targeted communities made use of the opportunity to get tested for HIV, adding that the discussion sessions were extremely fruitful with participants making meaningful contributions.
Mr. Thomas said he was particularly pleased with the large turnout of young people at the events.He told JIS News that similar outreach activities were being planned for Port Maria for Friday (Dec. 22), and Robins Bay on Saturday (Dec. 23).