This year’s World AIDS Day will focus on universal access and human rights. Along with the Jamaica Red Cross, local activist and stakeholder groups, including the Jamaica AIDS Support for Life, the National HIV/STI Programme, the National AIDS Committee, and the Jamaica Network for Seropositives, will be hosting a series of events to back efforts to stop stigmatization and discrimination against persons living with HIV/AIDS.
As part of the worldwide emphasis on universal access and human rights, the Jamaica Red Cross will be carrying out education exercises under theme: “Expressions of Hope.” About the campaigns, Patty Rhodes of the Red Cross’ World AIDS Day Committee says, “Persons living with HIV/AIDS tend to have this mindset that it is the end of life. We’re hoping that people who are not living with HIV/AIDS will give hope and let others know they can survive.”
World AIDS Day was first launched in December 1988, focusing on raising money, increasing awareness and improving education while working against prejudice. At this moment, about 33 million people are living with HIV; among them are 2.5 million children. AVERT, an international charity with focus on HIV/AIDS, points out that the “vast majority” of people with HIV/AIDS reside in lower- and middle-income groups, and is a threat to men, women, and children all across the world.
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Logo image from http://www.iriedaleinc.com/2009/category/news/caricom/