Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 10, 2021 (SKNIS): HIV/AIDS education can help learners to not only develop and maintain safer behaviours, but also reduce stigma and discrimination towards people affected by and living with the virus. As such, the National AIDS Secretariat continues to push its robust education programme aimed at enlightening the general public about HIV/AIDS.
“We have a school programme where we visit the primary and secondary schools regularly to speak on sexual health and all of the surrounding issues with HIV/AIDS and the other sexually transmitted infections,” said Lucine Pemberton-Vaughan, Health Educator/Counsellor, on Wednesday’s (February 10) edition of ‘Working for You.’ “We are in the workplace as well. So certain businesses and organizations call us and if they don’t, we invite ourselves.”
Mrs. Pemberton-Vaughn said that the Secretariat also reaches out to faith-based institutions among others.
“We go to churches, we are on the block, the streets, anywhere people are we are there spreading the word. Even on Friday afternoons, you can see me walking down Fort Street issuing condoms and lubricants and just meeting people and having that one on one talk,” she said.
Dr. Mathias Ofre, National HIV/AIDS Programme Coordinator, said no sector is left untouched.
“We reach out to private sectors having one on one meetings with the workers to educate them about what HIV is about, how they can protect themselves and also provide condoms and educate them on how they can be properly used because that is very important,” said Dr. Ofre. “If you don’t know how to use it properly you will end up exposing yourselves to the risks of it being destroyed in the process or probably not being used to achieve a living purpose.”
Dr. Ofre and Mrs. Pemberton-Vaughn, reiterated the importance of educating the general public, adding that education plays a crucial role in the fight against HIV/AIDS.