The Ministry of Youth is "keen" to see HIV/AIDS anti-discrimination legislation put in place, says Minister with responsibility for that portfolio, Dr. Esther Byer Suckoo.

According to her, that legislation "is pivotal to the work" her Ministry has to undertake for persons with HIV and AIDS. "The goal of the Ministry of Youth is to drive the process for anti-discrimination for HIV and AIDS," she stated, adding that the legislation was put forward by the Ministry of Labour.

The Minister made the comments which coincided with yesterday’s launch of the "Love Campaign" at Super Centre Warrens. The project, which was conceptualised by Leah Marville, is for children who are infected with or affected by the HIV virus and aims to address issues of stigma and discrimination. It also involves developing a food bank, and assisting affected children with essentials for school.

Dr. Byer Suckoo stated that her Ministry was interested in the project since it would touch the lives of children. "AIDS has the capacity to limit the productivity of an entire family… and the children are the ones who suffer. This is just another effort to support those [children], especially the unwitting victims of HIV and AIDS," she stressed.

With the world currently undergoing an economic recession, Dr. Byer Suckoo noted that "the vulnerable are going to suffer first and suffer worst". She called on all in the society, including corporate Barbados, to assist in whatever way possible. "Government cannot do it all and it can take a while for ideas to be implemented… Government is keen to work with non-governmental organisations, so when they have ideas they can come forward…," she stressed.

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