HIV/AIDS awareness fostered

KEVIN THOMPSON DELANCY

Plaudits are in order for Kevin Thompson-Delancy and his HIV/AIDS Survivor’s Benefit (HASB) colleagues. The continuity of activities organized to foster awareness of the disease that has swept the globe, is heart-warming.

Unlike cancer, diabetes, blood pressure conditions etc., HIV/AIDS carries a stigma that has made the work of those who struggle to organize programs to educate others, most challenging.

Thus, the intense dedication to mounting the battle of HIV/ AIDS awareness continuously, is commendable.

In that light, HASB, in conjunction with The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands Conference of the Methodist Church and the Grand Bahama Health Services has planned a weekend of activities to highlight Women/Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness. A seminar starts off the activities this Friday, beginning 10 a.m., at Pelican Bay Resort.

A Thanksgiving service is scheduled for Sunday morning, 9 a.m. at St. David’s Methodist Church in the Eight Mile Rock, Sea Grape community. The weekend also includes a luncheon at Manta Ray Beach Club later on Sunday.

Annually, several events are coordinated by HASB with partners such as the aforementioned, the Grand Bahama Port Authority and others, resulting in a connection with the general public that has led to a high degree of education about the disease. Accordingly, even though the pathway for delivering health care and education for HIV/AIDS patients is difficult, more and more, the proponents of awareness have been making greater inroads in societies across the country.

The efforts of HASB and like organizations are helpful in stemming the epidemic. In The Bahamas, almost 9,000 people are living with HIV. Statistics provided by the Ministry of Health disclosed that between 2006 and 2015, the total of 1,155 persons died from AIDS-related causes.

World statistics indicate that as of the end of 2017, almost 37 million (36.9) people were living with HIV/AIDS, 1.8 million of them children. In 2017 it was estimated that there were 5,000 new infections each day.

Of course, the awareness/education programs that HASB, and, national and world peer organizations spearhead, are largely responsible for passing on the knowledge about medication that combat the disease.

So yes, less numbers of people are dying around the world from AIDS-related problems, but on the other hand, more are living with the disease.

The work continues for HASB.

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