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‘I’m dead already’

‘I’m dead already’

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A young woman who said her name was Nesha rushed into SEARCHLIGHT’s office last week Wednesday in hysteria claiming that she had just received her HIV test result and it was positive.{{more}}

The young woman said that she wanted to place her obituary because she was “dead already”.

At the same time her friend, Kasy, and her boyfriend, Damion, frantically encouraged her not to do it, but the young woman remained adamant that she wanted to place her obituary.

SEARCHLIGHT’s Administrative Manager Teshorne Caine, upon hearing the commotion, tried to calm Nesha and asked if she had seen a professional counsellor. Caine also encouraged her to take some time to consider what she was about to do.

After several minutes of persistence, Nesha, Kasy and Damion took SEARCHLIGHT’s staff by surprise when they shouted “This is a Think Red Production.”

The trio, Cristal John (Nesha), Kenella Charles (Kasy) and Deshawn Charles (Damion) are part of a group called Blue Bucket Entertainment, which has been collaborating with the National AIDS Secretariat, the Ministry of Health and Alliance of Trinidad and Tobago to stage impromptu plays in communities, health centres and bus stops across St.Vincent and the Grenadines.

Their aim is to sensitize Vincentians about HIV/ADIS, encourage condom use and HIV testing, as well as break down the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS.

“The idea is to let people in general know that HIV has no face, name or age,” said John.

When asked why SEARCHLIGHT, the group said they wanted to see how media professionals would handle a situation where someone is tested positive for HIV and intended to go public with it.

Kenella used the opportunity to encourage persons to protect themselves at all time.

“Condomize!” was the message that she left.

Deshawn said he wanted to remind Vincentians to have one faithful partner and again “condomize”.

The group said by speaking to young Vincentians, they have identified a growing concern.

“Speaking to young people, we have identified that its not that they don’t want to use condoms. The problem is that the cashiers, even at the pharmacies, are asking why they are having sex,” said John.

She said the cashiers should encourage condom use as well as counselling.

John stated that the project has impacted the group members’ lives (a cast of 12) and has helped them to relate better to people living with HIV/AIDS.

This is the second series of “Think Red”; the first was done in May 2010. (HN)