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House of Hope marks World AIDS Day

House of Hope marks World AIDS Day

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Under the theme “Stop AIDS: keep the promise”, St. Vincent and the Grenadines joined the international community in marking World AIDS Day on December 1st, at a candlelight and rose ceremony held at the St. George’s Cathedral, Kingstown.{{more}}

Hosted by the House of Hope Society, uniformed bodies, youth groups, representatives from the House of Hope and the AIDS Secretariat, and other concerned members of the public attended the service.

In his feature address, Pastor Gevandean Wilson stated that approximately 230,000 adults and children in the Caribbean are living with HIV/AIDS, and emphasized that given the large number, it is an issue that affects us all. Wilson shared that oftentimes people infected with the disease feel isolated and alone because society and their families have shunned them. “They feel they are in the struggle by themselves…” he said.

Wilson further implored of the public to treat infected persons with the respect they deserve because, “…All human life is sacred.” He pointed out that discriminating against HIV/AIDS carriers does nothing to alleviate the problem. Wilson further explained that most prejudice against such persons stems from ignorance and wrong information about the disease.

The media also received a firm reprimand from Wilson, who called upon the public to boycott them when they propagate incorrect information about HIV/AIDS. Wilson urged his listeners to end stigma and discrimination instead of cultivating an atmosphere of ignorance and irrational fear.

Also delivering remarks was President of the House of Hope Dr Sylvanus Regisford, who encouraged the public to get involved in the fight against AIDS because it’s something that has the potential to affect us all. “All of us are stakeholders. We’re all involved, whether we’ve been affected or infected,” he reiterated.

Regisford further explained that the House of Hope not only provides support for HIV/AIDS victims and their families, but also promotes a holistic way of life whereby each person is responsible for their own health. Additionally, he stated that the House of Hope provides comfort to those in the end stages of the disease who have no supportive network. “No-one should die alone.” (JSV)

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