LIFE SAVERS: Health officials rapped with citizens on safe-sex practices, among other pertinent issues.
"In terms of numbers, our target is 1000 persons, and we always exceed that target annually." This coming from Kayan Lue, Behaviour Change Communications Coordinator with the National Family Planning Board, speaking with TALLAWAH at Monday's successful HIV-testing and awareness drive put on at Mandela Park in Half-Way Tree to mark World AIDS Day. As expected the event attracted scores of persons who flocked to the booths (nearly a dozen white tents were erected) throughout the day as an on-site deejay provided a pulsating, dancehall-heavy soundtrack.
This year's theme? "Live Positively... Take Your Meds On Time...All the Time." "Adherence to the medication is the main message here today," Lue noted. "We encourage persons who are positive to stay on treatment. Each year we also distribute a lot of condoms and offer free STD testing, free family planning advice."
But Monday's event was significant in another crucial respect as it marked the first major activity since the National HIV Programme and the National Family Planning Board joined forces to offer a more holistic approach to family and the war on HIV/AIDS. "Based on the findings that we have received," Lue continued, "for the next few years our main focus will be on treatment as a means of prevention. Early detection is key."
> To learn more about the latest community efforts of the NFPB and the National HIV Programme, visit www.nhpjamaica.org.