From left: A member of the congregation looking on as the Chairman of the National HIV/AIDS Commission, Dr. Wendy Sealy receives the lit candle from the Director of the Commission, Jacqueline Wiltshire-Gay during the candle lighting segment of the service.
World Aids Day recognised
The first of December is always recognised as World Aids Day and the National HIV/AIDS Commission saw it fit to commemorate the day with a service, which was held at the St. Michael’s Cathedral yesterday afternoon.
During her remarks, the Director of the National HIV/AIDS Commission, Jacqueline Wiltshire-Gay gave thanks to God for the successes that the Commission were able to achieve as they made their way towards an AIDS-free society in 2030.
“There still remains a lot of work to do, especially in the area of HIV-related stigma and discrimination, but there have been strides made in the Barbados Programme; thanks to our many partners,” she said.
“We are therefore appreciative of all those who made the effort to mark today with us. As you are aware, this year’s theme is ‘My Health, My Right’. This theme acknowledges that the right to health is an inalienable human right; this is, it cannot be taken away by any means.”
She noted that this right was recognised by both international and national law and therefore includes the access to health care and the elements that contribute to good health.
“We at the National HIV/AIDS Commission, along with our partners, join those around the world who believe that everyone, including persons living with or affected by HIV have the right to a healthy, dignified existence,” she said.
To further commemorate the day, the Very Reverend Dr. Jeffery D. Gibson, noted that the church would provide three candles from the alter to be lit by the Director of the Commission, the Chairman of the National HIV/AIDS Commission, Dr. Wendy Sealy and another member of the congregation.
“This is a tangible way the church would identify with the cause by using further symbols of the church to demonstrate our commitment to this endeavour. These three candles will be provided from the church alter; one will be symbolic of those who died from AIDS, the second will symbolise persons who live with HIV and AIDS and the third one will be symbolic of the hope we have for those engaged in medical research and advocacy,” he said.