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|Description||¡°Changing behavioural patterns is vital in the fight against HIV/AIDS,¡± said Minister of Health, Dr. Bheri Ramsaran.The Minister expressed satisfaction that the National AIDS Programme Secretariat (NAPS) has been doing an admirable job in fostering such changes so much so that ¡°we are now on top of the disease.¡±Minister of Health, Dr. Bheri RamsaranAccording to him, the disease has transformed from being an acute emergency into more of a chronic disease. This development, he said, could have only occurred ¡°because of the hard work that was put in by the public health practitioners at the National AIDS Planning Secretariat and the Ministry of Health.¡±He noted too that the laudable achievement has been supported in a significant way by international agencies which will be given due recognition at the appropriate time.However, the Minister said that the need for role models is yet needed to support the efforts of the public health sector.The Minister¡¯s remarks were forthcoming as he along with the NAPS Programme Manager, Dr. Shanti Singh, introduced role models to the media who will be supporting the upcoming national testing drive.The role models, who include pageant queens and sports personalities, will help to raise awareness about the importance of HIV testing.This move is especially crucial, Minister Ramsaran said, since HIV does not discriminate against gender or even age. He made reference to the fact that the disease has been increasingly infecting a younger population.The Minister said that the Ministry has been doing a lot of investments on the part of the Health Ministry and its partners to combat the disease. According to him, efforts have allowed the Ministry to win the support of the population, most of whom have overcome the stigma and taboo associated with the disease causing them to want to know their status.¡°It has now become a tradition for Guyanese to get tested and we are now going to be having new approaches to testing…probably making it very available but the stress of mass testing will have to be tempered,¡± said the Minister, a move that has been imitated across the globe.According to the Minister, facilitating testing drives are in fact expensive undertakings since kits have to be procured, they have to be stored in adequate conditions, distributed to various locations and workers must be trained to conduct the testing activities.However, he assured that the Ministry intends to sustain the testing activities despite it being financially burdensome.In this regard, he related that the Ministry is looking at innovative ways of getting the same work done with probably less or the same resources. ¡°That is why we have to concentrate on the more vulnerable groups and the more at-risk groups of the population such as the prison population, TB patients and commercial sex workers.¡±Moreover, the Ministry is seeking to craft a strategy that will be tailored to suit the dynamics of the disease which will be integrated into all levels. One of the main tools, to be incorporated, Minister Ramsaran said, is to educate people so that they understand that HIV/AIDS can affect anyone.¡°We need to at the present time, in a condition of constricting resources,Wholesale NFL Jerseys China, maintain that momentum…¡± With this in mind, he disclosed that the Ministry is appealing for continued support from the media to help heighten awareness about HIV so as to ensure that there will be a constant stream of people seeking to be tested.|
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