‘Be each other’s keeper’
−Region 5 hosts HIV awareness and Cohesion Fusion Funday
DPI, Guyana, Friday, December 6, 2019
Students from the Mahaicony and Bygeval Secondary Schools and the staff of Region 5 Health Department were Friday called on to be “each other’s keeper”.
The charge was made by Director of Sport Christopher Jones following a walk to raise awareness of HIV and to garner more support for those living with it.
The exercise started at the Mahaicony Park Square and saw the participants distributing pamphlets and condoms to members of the public along the route, before ending at the Mahaicony Community Centre Ground,
Jones commended the students’ involvement saying that it was imperative that they understand the importance of abstinence and to shy away from discriminating against those living with HIV.
“As a community, it is upon us to become each other’s keeper and this includes persons living with HIV/AIDS,” he said.
Regional Health Officer Dr. Desmond Nicholson also encouraged those present to get tested, assuring that their results would remain confidential.
The event, dubbed an HIV Awareness Walk and Cohesion Fusion Funday, was a collaboration between the Ministry of Social Cohesion and the Department of Health in Mahaica-Berbice. Following the walk, the participants engaged in several novelty sports competitions.
The Ministry of Public Health revealed that a total of 8,200 persons were infected with HIV this year, with 93% of them aware of their status. Some 500 new infections surfaced in Guyana mainly in key populations and among young people.