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Highlighting HIV awareness

From December 1 until December 7, the National HIV/AIDS Commission will be inviting all Barbadians to join the international community in the observance of AIDS Awareness Week, by being actively involved in the numerous activities planned to highlight HIV awareness here.

The week will commence on World AIDS Day, Saturday December 1, where the Commission will partner with the Ministries of Labour, Education, Social Care, Housing and Tourism to heighten awareness on that day.

That day’s major event will be a food bank drive and concert in Independence Square.

From 8 a.m. HIV volunteers will be walking from four destinations, the Barbados Museum, the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, Kensington Oval and the Ministry of Housing, collecting non-perishable food items, toiletries and monetary donations for the HIV Food Bank.

Members of the public are invited to join any of the four processions which will converge on Independence Square. The four routes are:

* The Barbados Museum through Chelsea Road, Curwen’s Ave, Beckles Road, Evelyn’s Ave, St. Paul’s Ave, Culloden Rd; Lower Collymore Rock, River Road and Fairchild Street.

* Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre through Government Hill, Bellville, Lower Collymore Rock and Fairchild Street.

* Kensington Oval through Fontabelle, Chapel Street and Broad Street to Independence Square.

* Ministry of Housing through Roebuck Street, Crumpton Street, St. Michael’s Row to Independence Square.

Each procession will be accompanied either by a music truck or a tuk band and will also be distributing promotional items and literature as they proceed to Independence Square where there will be various tents and stalls dealing with various issues surrounding HIV.

The Food Bank drive will continue all day in Independence Square and patrons will be treated to a free concert from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. featuring Toni Norville, Malissa Alanna, Ronnie Morris, Stephanie Chase, Ayanna John, Most Wanted, Polydan, GMC , Double Laff’ Theatre and Troy Arthur.

The following day, the Silver Sands HIV/AIDS Committee will stage a HIV Christmas concert and tree lighting ceremony at the Oistins Bay Gardens from 6:30 p.m.

On December 3 and 4 the NHAC will be hosting a Research Symposium at the Savannah Hotel from 9 a.m. where policy considerations will be among the issues explored relevant to HIV research.

On December 5, the Labour Department will be conducting a HIV workplace policy training seminar at its Warrens Office Complex office from 9:30 a.m.

There will be a HIV Primary School Essay Competition Prize Giving Ceremony at the Cuthbert Pilgrim, Memorial Hall, Moravian Gardens, Christ Church from 9:30 a.m. on December 6. Later that evening the Royal Barbados Police Force will stage a tattoo at the Police Sports Club at Weymouth at 7 p.m.

The week of activities will culminate on December 7 with a Youth Rally coordinated by the Ministry of Social Care at the Nazarene Church, Collymore Rock at 7 p.m.

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