Bajans urged to know their status
Are you positive, or are you are negative?
Barbadians are being urged to get tested and see.
Speaking at the launch of the Seventh Annual Regional Testing Day, Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Elizabeth Ferdinand reminded Barbadians that there was no shame in being tested.
“Have a positive outlook, be responsible and place a greater emphasis on the importance of being tested. Knowing your status is the first step in the right direction,” Ferdinand said.
She was addressing an audience at the Carlton A1 Complex at Black Rock, St Michael.
Government MP James Paul and Opposition Barbados Labour Party representative Dr Maria Agard were on hand to give their statements of commitment to the initiative.
Paul, who spoke on behalf of the Government and the Ministry of Health, said “the Government of Barbados is committed to making HIV testing available to all Barbadians so they can know their status”, while Dr Agard urged Barbadians to stop the discrimination.
“Ignorance is bliss, but knowledge is power. We must be ever conscious of the need to ensure that those living with HIV are free of prejudice,” she urged.
She further said that since the implementation of the Regional Testing Day initiative with Scotiabank, over 40 000 people in 21 countries had come forward to be tested to know their status.
Managing director of Scotiabank Caribbean East, David Noel, said he was very impressed with the new jingle and the amount of airplay it was receiving.
“Lack of knowledge can have a devastating negative effect on the the region so it is imperative to get the message out there about the importance of being tested,” Noel added.
Also in attendance was executive director of the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership On HIV/AIDS, Dr Allyson Leacock and members of the NexCyx band, who are part of the jingle.
Barbadians will have the opportunity to receive free HIV testing at various Scotiabank locations across the island until July 6.