Government commits to stomp out HIV/AIDS stigma … we hope it’s not just paper left for filing

Mrs. Marlene Malahoo Forte who by the way represented us well at the recent UN vote on sexual orientation discrimination see more here and here  from Gay Jamaica Watch on blogger

Former Senator and State Minister of Labour and Social Security and represnting Persons with Disability Mr Floyd Morris

Mrs Rosie Stone wife of the late Carl Stone and author who is also HIV+ at the function

Mr. Howard Hamilton Chairman of the NAC, National AIDS Committee

Mr. Ivan Cruickshank Rep. CVC Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition

ALL PHOTOS ARE OWNED BY THE SOURCE WHO WAS ATTENDANCE ON THIS HISTORIC OCCASSION

Damion Mitchell, News Editor of the Gleaner produce this short piece.

Prime Minister Bruce Golding and Opposition Leader Portia Simpson-Miller have signed a declaration of commitment to eliminate the stigma, discrimination and gender inequality affecting Jamaica’s HIV/AIDS response.

The declaration will be presented at the United Nations General Assembly high level meeting on AIDS 2011 in June.

Key stakeholders have been meeting in Kingston to review several issues that Jamaica needs to address in achieving its objective to eliminate the discrimination in the AIDS response.

According to Prime Minister Golding, a lot of work is still needed to erase the shame and prejudice being faced by persons with the disease.

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Portia Simpson-Miller said the time has come for stakeholders to take bold steps to protect the human rights of people with AIDS.

The declaration of commitment promises the creation and promotion of a supportive and enabling social policy, and legal environment that respects and protects the rights of all Jamaicans with HIV/AIDS.

It also promises support to accesses treatment, care and support for people living with AIDS.

ENDS

My two cents
To think our government said YES to the removal of sexual orientation from the resolution on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions (79)) as an offence in the recent United Nations vote (more here) one wonders if this move is just some suck up to the United Nations and also to get better PR mileage from Pink voters especially most of whom support the Opposition but even they too have gone soft on the issue.

We only hope this historic signing is not just words and ink on paper to be drawn for to say we don’t have discrimination against HIVers as we have signed this or that. I am sick and tired of seeing this kind of plastic concerns towards minority groups and marginalized persons please pardon my cynicism. We also hope the persons present are going hold the government accountable for this especially the CVC Caribbean Vulnerable Coalition which covers all Non Governmental groups in the Caribbean including Jamaica Forum for Lesbians Allsexuals and Gays JFLAG.

Peace and tolerance

H

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Author: GLBTQ Jamaica Moderator

Activist and concerned gay man in Jamaica with over 19 years experience in advocacy and HIV/AIDS prevention work, LGBT DJ since 1996.

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