ABSTINENCE, FAITHFULNESS, CONDOMISING THE APPROACH TO HALT HIV-AIDS SPREAD By Rawle Nelson President of the Pastor Desmond Herbert Foundation, Desmond Herbert is of the firm belief that a lifestyle of abstinence, faithfulness and condomising was the approach to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and urged residents of St Kitts and Nevis to preach it. At an executive meeting held among some of his membership, Pastor Herbert passionately underscored the importance of the need for persons to know their status and for infected persons to have access to treatment and care. “In this regard let me join in urging the world’s scientists to keep the faith and redouble their efforts to find a medical cure and a vaccine for this disease which continues to claim thousands of lives around the world each day,”Herbert said. In reiterating his foundation’s support and help to the fight against HIV/AIDS, he noted the importance of partnerships and the work being done by persons in the health sector along with other local partners. He also issued an invitation to other NGO organizations to partner with his foundation is that they can help in eradicating the disease. “I am very confident that we can achieve success with fighting HIV AIDS but it cannot be fought single-handedly but must be fought as a collaborative effort between everyone,”he declared. Herbert commended the Ministry of health in St Kitts for what he ha-said has been a worthwhile fight and significant contributions that the Ministry has made. He noted that the aggressive efforts and contributions made by permanent Secretary Elvis Newton has helped in some amount of success. He said leadership at the local level had been critical in the fight and St Kitts had received international recognition in this area. The meeting held by the foundation forms part of its efforts to assist in eradicating the disease within the federation while providing care and support to those affected or infected by the disease. Meanwhile, Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis Dr Denzil Douglas had stated in the December 1st, 2008 World AIDS Day observance that it should be a time for reflection and introspection: introspection on promises made, individually and collectively, to provide strong leadership by implementing strategies to deal with prevention and treatment; to protect human rights by reducing stigma and discrimination; and to promote research among other promises, as indicated by the signatures to the 2001 UNGASS Declaration of Commitment. Caricom Secretary General Edwin Carrington said despite the optimism caused by recent statistics which suggested the global prevalence of the infection was stabilizing in addition to localized reductions, the statistics still painted a grim picture and pointed out that inadequate access to HIV prevention and treatment services resulted in new infections and deaths daily. He added that progress in halting the HIV pandemic was still falling short of targets and emphasised that leaders must honour the 2006 UNGASS commitment of delivering universal access to HIV/AIDS prevention, care treatment and support services by 2010.
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