The Ministry of Housing and Lands has stepped up its efforts to sensitise the public and its staff about issues relating to HIV and AIDS.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Edison Alleyne, disclosed that Francia Best has now taken up the position of HIV/AIDS Coordinator – a role he sees as vital. “The assignment of a full-time officer to the HIV/AIDS programme will help to fast-track assistance to vulnerable members of the society,” he said.
Ms. Best will work closely with the National HIV/AIDS Commission (NHAC) to provide housing solutions for members of the public infected and affected by HIV and AIDS and will also sensitise staff of the Ministry about the disease, particularly as it relates to stigma and discrimination in the workplace.
Ms. Best is the fifth full-time HIV Coordinator to be appointed. Other HIV/AIDS Coordinators already exist in the Ministries of Labour and Immigration, Tourism, Education and Human Resource Development and Social Care, Constituency Empowerment, Urban and Rural Development.
The full-time coordinators and other resource persons meet on a monthly basis in a partnership forum at the NHAC to report on their progress and to keep abreast of the HIV pandemic and the national response.