From the Director of the Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit
World AIDS Day Message
Today we commemorate World AIDS Day, a day set aside to bring more awareness about HIV and AIDS, to show our support for persons living with HIV and to pause and remember persons who have passed. This year World AIDS Day is observed under the theme "Global Solidarity, Shared Responsibility". This theme is especially important, as COVID-19 increasingly affects all our communities locally, in other parts of the Caribbean and globally, it continues to remind us of the essential role that communities and key partners have played, and continue to play in the AIDS response at our international, regional and local levels.
It has been 32 years since the start of this epidemic, we today come together for another World AIDS Day, stating the need for Solidarity and expressing our Shared Responsibility. We must remain concerned about the lasting impact that COVID-19 could have on the Turks and Caicos Islands and our region. We have experienced firsthand the threat to our health care services, the impact on critical medical supplies including medication.
We have learned many lessons with HIV that we have been able to use in our latest challenge of COVID 19. We have come a long way and are fortunate to have achieved great progress towards the elimination of HIV and AIDS in the Turks and Caicos Islands. This disease is no longer the death sentence it once was. We have recently celebrated with a client who was born with HIV 30 years of life, a great success story. However, despite the gains we have made in controlling the epidemic, there are still challenges to overcome including COVID-19. This present pandemic, COVID-19, has been a real eye opener for us all. We must ensure that especially during COVID-19 the human rights of People Living with HIV continue to be respected and that People Living with HIV are treated fairly.
We will most definitely continue to have challenges but together, we will overcome them. We have shown our resilience in the face of COVID 19 by ensuring that persons living with HIV still had access to HIV services but all aspects of our services must continue to be strengthened. We all have a role to play whether it be government or civil society, let us together heighten our collective responses to HIV with more robust outcomes which lead us to our goal of an AIDS free Turks and Caicos by 2025.
I leave you with this quote from Martin Luther King to ponder “Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?”. Let us together take responsibility working together solidarity we all have a role to play.
A successful virtual seminar on HIV management for health care workers was held on the 30th November where CME credits obtained. We encourage persons to visit their health care providers and get and HIV test, it is important to know your HIV status. Join us live on our Facebook page TCI Health Promotion and Advocacy on Friday December 4th at 7PM for our virtual concert in observance of World AIDS Day