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PRESS RELEASE: Over 700 persons living in St. Lucia with HIV as MoH holds Combination Prevention Workshop

By Ministry of Health

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at-home-hiv-test-1024x678Current national statistics indicate that there are over 700 persons living with HIV.

And according to data from 2009, the Caribbean is the second-most affected region in terms of HIV prevalence. Approximately 1% of the adults (240,000 people) are living with the disease.

This is higher than any other region except Sub-Saharan Africa. Several factors influence this epidemic, including poverty, gender, sex tourism, and stigma.

The Ministry of Health & Wellness continues to seek, strengthen and execute innovative strategies to combat or curb the HIV epidemic. One of those interventions is a four-day workshop which commenced on 6th June.

One of the Facilitators is Bennet Charles, the Communications & Advocacy Officer for United and Strong.

He said: “HIV & AIDS impact on the Caribbean region particularly Saint Lucia, it’s really & truly one that is affecting some serious populations MSM, sex workers and young persons.

“Today the we focus on combination prevention and minimum packages. Combination prevention is taking a holistic approach towards dealing with HIV, when you look at the biomedical issues, structural issues, behavioral issues. So its move of a holistic approach ensuring that we could truly have a serious impact on the way HIV is affecting key populations in itself.”

To ensure maximum reach, several organizations that have traditionally been working with key populations and are critical to dealing with HIV and AIDS in Saint Lucia, have been brought together, including NGOs such as the National Youth Council, the St. Lucia Planned Parenthood Association and TLC, a support group for persons affected by and living with HIV.

“At the end we are really hoping that these organizations along with another regional organization which is CVC, the Coalition of Persons … Networks within the Caribbean region can work together in terms of ensuring that we work with Government, we work with regional partners in curbing the impact of HIV & AIDS within our small island states and within the OECS,” Charles added.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness is collaborating with United and Strong through a grant initiative provided by the OECS and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

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This article was posted in its entirety as received by stlucianewsonline.com. This media house does not correct any spelling or grammatical error within press releases and commentaries. The views expressed therein are not necessarily those of stlucianewsonline.com, its sponsors or advertisers.

15 comments

  1. Reading the comments all i can hear is young girls being taken advantage of by older men ...sounds like a lot of grown women pissed ..Aids don't have a age group and there is no where in the story where u read about age ...this underage sex has been going on for years ..when back in the 80s girls have their man with rides picking them up ..maybe it has gotten worse with the rise of poverty but it's nothing new .. people don't love them selves that's why they don't protect themselves ....

    (0)(0)
  2. The main problem is that most people on this island do not love themselves. We first need to teach people especially the children to love themselves and know they have value and they matter. Health personal could have countless workshops and talk about condom use. If you don't love yourself, you don't think you are valued and matter, why care. They wont even care to use or have the other person use a condom. Education should include teaching persons to love themselves, to boost the self esteem and know they matter ( that should be stressed on,) etc, along with education about condom use.

    I am amazed to see St. Lucians have reached a point where they care about everything else except themselves and health.

    Thank you.

    (3)(0)
  3. Number maybe double after VICE.

    (5)(0)
  4. You can be poor or rich or middle class, we all gave a responsibility to protect ourselves against such preventive deseases. Do not have u protected sex ! Period!

    (0)(0)
  5. I am convinced that inter-generational sex prevalent in the Caribbean is what is driving the HIV epidemic. Let me explain what i mean; it is old men sleeping with young women. And unless we change the attitude towards that and making these men aware that they are perverts and making the young girls sensitive to the fact that they are being used by these perverts, then the HIV infections will continue. We need to focus on building strong families with our young people settling down and raising their kids together. Our attitude need to change.

    (5)(0)
  6. Smh sex is something very serious and so is Aids, some ppl wanna hope from bed to bed like a bunny rabbit well there will be consequences. ... our problem us we rush into sex like its gonna run away...take time to know your partner, go for HIV test together know your status...we talk bout sex education all the time, we see ads but aids all the time yet ppl go ahead and still take risks...thats goes to show that we are definately living in the last days...prophecy is being fullfilled...now its up to us to protect our selves and abstain....fromSEX.

    (2)(0)
  7. Ministry of Health could help to curb AIDS by providing better sex education to people and also to have better better facilities. The above is lagging in medicine etc. and to me they r not making an effort. Ministry of Education should educate school children about condoms and underage sex.Religion also is important.

    (4)(3)
  8. Do you guys need minister of health to be there with you when you are having sex to hand you a condom? Or to tell you not to have sex underage or not to sleep around or not to accept the older men when they offer you a few dollars or when a man have an accent?

    (17)(1)
  9. If the women were not letting men and boys use them , the men would respect women more cause they would have to man up to get a woman but now, if you break up with them because they cheated it's not a big deal to them cause they can get 5 ,6 young girls just give them $10 and they good

    (8)(1)
  10. This epidemic didn't just started we quick to judge government, politics has nothing to do with people going and do the nastiness, we live in a time when marriage is nothing, women don't respect themselves and has no value, sleeping around young girls 10 , 12 years and up wants to be women having sex , if women were keeping their legs close the problem would net escalate. Women now has no values and they claim poverty is the reason

    (6)(3)
  11. There's allot of young girls exploitation by grown married men making videos and having unprotected sex. There has to be some rigorous education on safe sex plus all those video posts on Facebook needs to be investigated and voyarism should have a punishment. Young girls are selling their bodies to unscrupulous dirty men that in turn video tape those girls. St Lucia morality is at a whole new low everyone looks the other way. They'll talk about it on Facebook and that's it. The youth need strong role models in their life good mentorship plus people need to pray put god back into your lives to reject the temptation of carnality. The joojoo man or woman won't take away aids if you are infected. First get strong spiritually and the mountains will move

    (2)(1)
  12. About to get me a box of condoms

    (2)(0)
  13. straight SHOOTER

    Ministry of health in St.Lucia is a big joke, and i have every true reason to say this. This government has no interest in the health and well being of poor St,Lucians. You must first take care of your citizens and you will be rewarded. I guess it is not that easy when the ==== CHASTANETS DUBOULAYS AND FRIENDS ARE TAKING OVER. KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE PEOPLE ,OR YOU WILL MISS IT.====

    (10)(14)
    • it seems is they that telling them to have unprotected sex. everything seems to be politics

      (14)(4)
    • I agree.Ministry of Health has no budget regarding S T D's as Aids.Medicine here is expensive and the poor man has to die.Very bad Health care system. Everything here is expensive and the standard of living is low.What is Independence in StLucia? Begging foreign agencies for loan and money.Giving away the country to foreigners who go back home with the money.In other words 21st Century Colonialism. Low technical education system. Bringing foreigners to do the skilled work with VIP treatment because StLucians r inadequately educated. Government has to expect pressure.Many have their lives and talents wasted due to pretence and wrong people in the wrong jobs

      (5)(2)

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