Workshop raises HIV/AIDS awareness

A workshop aimed at raising awareness of, and sensitivity towards, HIV/AIDS health reporting was recently held.

Attendees from local media, Government Information Services, the Ministry of Health and Human Services, the Health Services Authority and CINICO all learned about repercussions associated with the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Director of Primary Health Care Services Dr. Kiran Kumar noted that an informed and sensitised media could better help people deal with the socio-economic and personal impacts of HIV/AIDS.

Facilitators from PAHO, media consultant Jones Madeira, and health economist Roger McLean stressed that the Caribbean would benefit from a more robust approach to dissemination and discussion, rather than prevalence and mortality statistics.

The value of compassionate and empathetic interaction when dealing with persons affected by HIV/AIDS was also discussed.

The visiting presenters acknowledged that the Caribbean has the second highest prevalence of the epidemic in the world, after sub-Saharan Africa, so there is a critical obligation to make HIV/AIDS better understood.

The HSA’s HIV/STI Coordinator Pauline Ffrench outlined the prevalence of these diseases in Cayman, and stressed that help is available locally, both for prevention, and for those who do become infected.