Seymour stresses safe sex, AIDS Day event to be held at Public Beach
To mark World AIDS Day, internationally observed on December 1, the Cayman AIDS Foundation will be hosting an event at the Public Beach on West Bay Road starting at 6.30 p.m.
The family friendly event will see the release of biodegradable Chinese lanterns in memory of loved ones who passed away due to the disease.
Tickets for refreshments and a lantern can be reserved in advance from the Cayman AIDS Foundation office.
In the Cayman Islands, there are approximately 69 persons living with HIV, and 153 confirmed cases of HIV since the virus was first identified in 1985.
In observing the day, the Minister with responsibility for Health,Dwayne Seymour, encouraged Caymnians to join members of Cayman AIDS Foundation at their World AIDS Day ceremony to be held for the first time at the Public Beach on West Bay Road,
Seymour noted that the Cayman AIDS Foundation does a wonderful job year-round, partnering with the Ministry of Health and the Health Services Authority, as well as the Cayman Islands Red Cross, to educate people in the community about HIV and AIDS.
“It is imperative to remember there is no cure for HIV infections. However, effective antiretroviral drugs can control the virus and help prevent transmission so that people with HIV, and those at substantial risk, can enjoy healthy, long and productive lives,” he said
“HIV has no boundaries and everyone is at risk, whether Caymanian or expat, so this is a good moment to remind ourselves and others to be responsible at all times,” he added.
As per the World Health Organization’s theme of “Right to Health” for this year’s World AIDS Day, Seymour said that it was important for the sector to provide the best quality healthcare possible for all persons living with HIV in the Cayman Islands.
“The right to health is a fundamental human right and every person must be able to access the appropriate health services that they need,” he said.
“Lastly, let us remember our people who lost the battle with HIV and left this life all too soon. As we mark World AIDS Day, we pray for the family and friends of those who have passed, and we pray for the continued good health of individuals who are living with the virus,”he added.
Seymour also stressed the need to halt the transmission of the virus encouraging individuals use protection and adopt safe sexual practices.
The World Health Organization estimates that, globally, only 70 per cent of people living with HIV know their status, so please don’t risk your own life, or your partner’s life; the test is simple and quick.
HIV, the virus which causes AIDS, continues to be a major global public health issue, having claimed more than 35 million lives, according to statistics from the World Health Organization.
Last year alone, one million people died from HIV-related causes around the world and, by the end of 2016, 36.7 million were living with HIV.