Government is intensifying its efforts to take the HIV and AIDS message to Barbadians.

This promise has come from Minister of Family, Stephen Lashley, who said the authorities would only be satisfied when a turnaround in behaviour occurred in this fight. "That [behavioural change] is still a challenge for us and that is why we are redoubling our efforts to bring the message more forcefully to Barbadians.

"I don’t think the [National] HIV/AIDS Commission is satisfied either and that is why it has embarked on this strategy. We need to get more Barbadians on board and I would want to see this programme moving more into the communities of Barbados… We want to get more people focused on partnering with the HIV/AIDS Commission, we want the media to be more aggressive in sending the message to Barbadians to change their lifestyle," Mr. Lashley stated.

The Minister made the comments today after making a contribution to the National HIV/AIDS Commission’s Food Bank Drive, before staffers of the Commission, some of their partners and volunteers left the Warrens Office Complex for an island-wide drive-thru, where foodstuff and toiletries were collected for the Food Bank. Nearly 100 people participated in the sensitisation programme.

Mr. Lashley lauded the initiative, saying it was an important strategy, which moved away from in-house seminars and he urged Barbadians to embrace the new approach.

Minister of Labour, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo, who was also present to make a donation, promised that her Ministry would be persistent as it continued to work on reducing stigma and discrimination in the workplace and the necessary anti-discrimination legislation.

"Stigma remains a challenge in Barbados and many countries around the world and we have to be relentless in our effort to sensitise people… What a person with HIV or AIDS really needs is our care and our support," Dr. Byer Suckoo stressed.????

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