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Nov 28, 2003

Solidarity march ends AIDS Week

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Despite numerous and costly AIDS awareness campaigns statistics show that the public still may not be getting the message. That’s the fear of the National AIDS Commission’s Executive Director, Martha Carrillo, who spoke to News 5 about the upcoming annual HIV/AIDS Solidarity March. The event will culminate a week of activities to raise awareness of the disease.

Martha Carrillo, Executive Director, N.A.C.

“It’s becoming a problem of the National AIDS Commission, a problem for Alliance Against AIDS or a few that really care. But when we come face to face with those persons whoa re already dying of AIDS and their only question to themselves is why? I mean, why did I not listen, then we get really concern, and sometimes to be honest we get very upset because we are bringing across the message and people are not listening. And sometimes when people are listening, what they will do is criticise and say the commission is not doing enough, but yet when we are doing, we are not receiving the response. So really, we know that the responsibility lies with the individuals, the responsibility to change their behaviour, the responsibility to acknowledge that we have a problem in our country and to assume their role and responsibility in the response.”

“This year our theme is “Live and Let Live, Eliminating the Stigma and Discrimination” and we will be walking in solidarity, one, to show our support for persons living with HIV, also in remembrance for those who died of AIDS and bringing out the message that we are united in supporting persons living with HIV/AIDS and that basically there will be no tolerance for discrimination against this particular population. In addition to this, of course bringing across the strong message that we have a very serious situation on our hands and as a country we need to respond. And usually the solidarity march includes different sectors, young persons, mothers, men, women, children, and basically we are saying as a country we realise that we need to come together if we will be able to deal with this situation of HIV and AIDS.”

The HIV/AIDS solidarity March gets underway at ten on Saturday morning from the Constitution Park. It ends at the B.T.L. Park where an all day fair will be held. In a programming note, viewers are asked to tune in Sunday morning at ten for a special live via satellite presentation originating in Barbados on the occasion of World AIDS Day.



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