A full week of activities has been organised by the National HIV/AIDS Commission (NHAC) to mark World AIDS Day on Tuesday, December 1.

The week which will run from December 1 – 6 will include a health fair, march and rally in the City.

On Tuesday, December 1, at 8:30 a.m., some 50 fourth and fifth form students will attend a workshop on the topic, "Securing the Workforce of the Future".?? Coordinated by the Barbados Employers Confederation, in conjunction with the Ministry of Labour and Immigration, it will be held at United Nations House, Marine Gardens, Hastings, Christ Church.

Later that morning, a health fair will be staged at Jubilee Gardens, the City, beginning at 10:00 a.m.?? The event has been organised by the Social Care Ministry in collaboration with the Community Development Department.

Voluntary counselling and testing by the Ministry of Health, as well as blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure checks by the Barbados Diabetes Association, will be provided. Minister of Social Care, Christopher Sinckler, will deliver the feature address, while Acting Director of the National HIV/AIDS Commission, Jackie Wiltshire-Gay, will give remarks.

From 2:00 p.m. on the same day, a human HIV ribbon will be formed at the General Post Office (GPO) by Ministry staff, local HIV/AIDS education committee members and representatives of the Caribbean AIDS Alliance.?? A march will then leave the GPO at 2:30 p.m. for Jubilee Gardens, where the rally will begin at 3:00 p.m. Entertainers slated to perform include John King, Paula Hinds and Double Laff Theatre, among others.

On Wednesday, December 2, and Thursday, December 3, the Commission will stage a research symposium at Hilton Barbados. The two-day seminar will feature presentations on social vulnerabilities of the youth, women, gender, tourism and perspectives on the Barbados national response; among other topics.??

The Silver Sands HIV/AIDS Education Committee will present prizes to primary school students from the Christ Church area who participated in a recently held HIV essay competition.?? The ceremony will take place on Thursday, December 4, at 9:30 a.m. at the Cuthbert Pilgrim Memorial Hall, Moravian Gardens in Christ Church.???? At 7:00 p.m. that same evening, the United Gays and Lesbians Against AIDS Barbados will host a panel discussion to discuss "The Right to Live", at the Vashti Inniss Empowerment Centre, Ladymeade Gardens, Jemmotts Lane, St. Michael.??

On Friday, December 4, the staff of the National Council on Substance Abuse will hold a fund raising activity in the form of a "Red Wig Sale" at the old ICB Building, Corner James & Roebuck Street. Staffers will wear red wigs to attract public attention to the sale of food, children’s toys, and other items, all for $10 or less.?? Funds will go towards HIV awareness.

Also on Friday, at 9:00 a.m., the Ministry of Labour’s awareness efforts will move to the Grantley Adams Industrial Estate, Christ Church, where an HIV Wellness Fair will be held.?? Factory workers in the area will be afforded the opportunity to have health checks, including HIV.?? Later that evening, the Barbados Defence Force will host a fundraising night cricket match at St. Ann’s Fort, the Garrison, starting at 7:00 p.m.

On Saturday, December 5, the Caribbean HIV and AIDS Alliance will distribute female condoms at the food court of the Sheraton Mall, Sargeant’s Village, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Later that evening, the Silver Sands HIV/AIDS Education Committee will host a HIV Christmas Concert and Tree Lighting Ceremony at Oistins Bay Gardens in Christ Church, at 6:00 p.m.??

On the final day, Sunday, December 6, the public is asked to give its support to the Candle of Hope Annual HIV Memorial Service organised by the St. John HIV/AIDS Education Committee.?? It will be held at 5:00 p.m. at the New Dawn Ministry, Gall Hill Community Centre.?? Then at 8:00 p.m., well-known classical singer, Enid Gay, will perform at an "Enchanted Evening of Classical Music" fundraising concert at the St. Mary’s Anglican Church.?? She will be accompanied by organist at the St. Michael’s Cathedral, John Bryan, and the Royal Barbados Police Force Band.?? A contribution towards the programme will be taken at the door.

The public is asked to give its support to the various World AIDS Day activities.??


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