The dramatic production, themed ‘Tourism Alert: Testing, Testing 1, 2, 3…’, was performed by the Barbados Community College Theatre Arts Department.
Students of the Barbados Community College Theatre Arts Department educating and sensitising persons about the impact of HIV/AIDS on the tourism industry.
HIV/AIDS awareness being promoted in tourism industry
THE Ministry of Tourism and International Transport is not turning a blind eye to the fact that more travellers are coming to the island to experience sexual tourism.
In this regard, the Ministry has over the years embarked on a number of sensitisation seminars, workshops and training seminars in association with the Barbados Workers’ Union and the National HIV/AIDS Commission, aimed at promoting HIV awareness in the tourism industry.
As he delivered remarks at the Edu-Drama Presentation and cocktail reception to celebrate World AIDS Day, held at the Sea Rocks Dome, Maxwell Coast Road, Christ Church, last Friday evening, Minister of Tourism and International Transport Richard Sealy remarked that it is known that Barbados, like many of the Caribbean territories, is a tourism-dependent country and that tourism is the major economic driver of this country’s economy.
“However, it brings with it a number of risk factors because of increased mobility due to transient populations. Nowadays, travellers visit Barbados for many purposes besides the sea, sand and sun.
“In trying to attain the ultimate experience, some travellers engage in sexual tourism as a way of enhancing their travel experience. This new form of tourism, although lucrative for some, has the potential to seriously exacerbate the spread of sexual transmission of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections by affecting the most vulnerable of our population,” he said.
The Minister said it is therefore important that access to high quality care and treatment is expanded to key populations, and that all persons are educated and sensitised regarding the devastating effects of the HIV/AIDS disease, including sexually transmitted infections.
“The Ministry of Tourism and International Transport, through its HIV/AIDS awareness programme, has been using various media to promote public education on HIV and AIDS in the Tourism Industry, for the past 16 years,” Sealy indicated.
The dramatic production, themed “Tourism Alert: Testing, Testing 1, 2, 3…”, was performed by the Barbados Community College Theatre Arts Department.
The production attempted to educate and sensitise persons about the impact of HIV/AIDS on the tourism industry, with the objective to spark discussion on various misconceptions surrounding the issues of HIV in this way, to help to reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with it. (AH)