JIS News

The St. Elizabeth Health Department has planned a number of activities to mark World AIDS Day on December 1.
Parish Health Educator, Delphene Grandison told JIS News that the theme for this year’s observance is ‘Women with AIDS’.
Activities will include the printing of placards with catchy slogans to provide the public with information about the disease, while laminated bookmarkers would also be distributed. “This we will augment by way of special talks centred around our theme,” Mrs. Grandison informed.
Public meetings are scheduled for the communities of Tryall, Ballards Valley, Red Bank, Rose Hall, Carisbrook and Brompton. “There will hopefully be the showing of a documentary, a special rap session and condom distribution, of course the whole purpose being to heighten the awareness in the parish about the seriousness of our topic at this time, not only nationally but also globally,” she said.
In addition, Mrs. Grandison informed that members of the Health Department will be “dressing down” in costumes on World AIDS Day. “This we are certain should serve as a point of entertainment for the wider public considering the fact that everyone is a bit down because of damage caused by Hurricane Ivan,” she pointed out.
She noted that so far this year, a number of HIV/AIDS workshops have been held and the church community has been invited to wear and sell ribbons to members of the wider public on World AIDS Day. The proceeds will go towards assisting a local HIV/AIDS support group to offset the cost of medication for its members. Mrs. Grandison expressed the view that it was time for Jamaica as a nation to start to deal in a realistic way, given the effects of the worldwide pandemic.
“Our people need to reach the point where they start to care more about our women and young girls.we have little or no choice but to all do our part to prevent the further spread of the disease,” she stated.
Mrs. Grandison noted that educational institutions would not be left out of the public education process as “our team has identified a number of schools which we will be visiting.”
“I say to the people in the parish; please listen to the media more, read more and be more careful in their lifestyle, because what we have noticed is that some still do not take the issue of HIV seriously as their philosophy is ‘it can’t happen to me’. We want them to know that once you are sexually active you have to be extremely careful,” she stated.