Ministry Of Education In Fight Against HIV And AIDS

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Minister of State in the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, Patrick Todd. (FP)????

The Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development is working assiduously to educate students from the primary to the tertiary levels about HIV and AIDS.

This commitment to make young persons more aware of the deadly virus, was outlined last Friday by Minister of State in the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development, Patrick Todd. He was speaking at a Valentine’s HIV and AIDS musical and dramatic production entitled "An Evening of Love", at Solidarity House, Harmony Hall, St. Michael.

"We have, therefore, come to the realisation that Education is integral to the fight against this disease, and are convinced that we will only be able to overcome it through commitment to a heightened and sustained response to this pandemic.

"With that in mind, our Ministry is constantly looking at innovative ways of presenting the HIV/AIDS message through education that targets especially those myths and taboos, which represent the greatest obstacles in our response to the pandemic," he stated.

The Minister added that from 2002 the Ministry had been relentless in its efforts to have its staff sensitised through workshops including selective training for special needs teachers.

"In addition, we have facilitated HIV and AIDS specific programmes in 18 secondary schools, so far up to December 2009, where life skills have been taught to over 16,000 students, thus empowering them to make wise choices.

"The tertiary institutions have been equally sensitised.?? In February 2009 an activity similar to this one was facilitated for over 400 students and staff of the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic during ???Love Safely Week’.?? There, HIV testing was accommodated, with just over 40 persons being tested," Mr. Todd disclosed.

"An Evening of Love" was conceptualised by the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development in collaboration with East Point Production Inc., to educate persons about HIV and AIDS and the importance of knowing one’s status; fight

stigma and discrimination which together continues to be the greatest obstacle in the HIV and AIDS response; and to encourage persons to practice safe sex during the Valentine’s season.

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