this far without your hard work, passion and dedication.
World AIDS Day is commemorated globally every year on December 1. On this 28th World AIDS Day, we take the opportunity to celebrate life, as we acknowledge our progress in the fight against HIV, and to achieving the goals laid out for us in Jamaica’s Vision 2030: to make Jamaica the place of choice to live, work, raise families, and do business.
The theme for this World AIDS Day is ‘Keep the Promise: Hands Up for HIV Prevention’. This is a call for us to remember our responsibilities as a united nation to support our brothers and sisters in their fight against HIV, without stigma, without discrimination. It is a call for our world leaders to keep funding health care and HIV prevention initiatives. The AIDS Health care Foundation’s ‘Keep the Promise’ campaign underscores that “universal access to health care is a right – regardless of one’s wealth or income”.
In order to meet the goal of ending AIDS by 2030, we must take a fast-track approach to reducing new HIV infections, reducing AIDS-related deaths and eliminating HIV-related stigma and discrimination. We will not tolerate discrimination against our HIV-positive community, as it creates a barrier to the treatment, care and support necessary for their survival. We must change our attitudes and work together to make the future better for the generations to come.
The ministry continues to provide treatment and support for persons living with HIV and AIDS. We are working on expanding access to antiretroviral treatment even further and testing our vulnerable populations with the hope that everyone will know their HIV status by 2030. Knowing your status is the first step towards achieving this health goal.
As we come together to commemorate another World AIDS Day, I challenge you to not only support those living with HIV, but also to make it your duty to protect yourself and your loved ones from the illeffects of risky sexual behaviour. We can only succeed if all of us play our part. DR DANA MORRIS DIXON Chairperson Board of Directors NFPB-SHA