JIS News

The parish of St. Mary will observe World AIDS Day (December 1), with a candlelight vigil and concert in honour of persons who have died from the disease and those who are currently affected by the illness.
The function, which is being sponsored by Jamaica AIDS Support, in association with the North Eastern Regional Health Authority HIV/STI Control Programme, the Child Development Agency, the National Youth Service and the St. Mary Youth Information Centre, will be held in the town square in Port Maria and will be the culmination of a number of activities to observe the event.
In an interview with JIS News, Linford Cunningham, Co-Chairman for the World AIDS Day 2005 Committee said the other activities included a church service, which was held at the Bethel United Church in Highgate on Sunday, November 27; community interventions in Highgate, Robins Bay, Islington and Port Maria on Monday, November 28, in which members of the World AIDS Day 2005 Committee met and greeted members of the communities and held discussions with them on subjects related to HIV/AIDS, and a community march in Highgate on Tuesday, November 29, to mobilise support against the spread of the disease.
Mr. Cunningham said the function on December 1 would be highlighted by a candle lighting component to remember Jamaicans who have died from the AIDS pandemic, as well as a gesture of support for affected persons who are stigmatised and discriminated against because of the illness.
He said the vigil would also feature displays on the services offered by a number of government and non-governmental organisations, and ways in which those services can stem the spread of HIV/AIDS. These include the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission and the St. Mary Health Department.
Mr. Cunningham said this was the first time that the vigil was being held in St. Mary, and he was confident of support from the people.