The National HIV/AIDS Commission will join forces with band leader Varia Williams and designer Omowale Stuart to sensitise Barbadians about HIV on Kadooment Day, Monday, August 5.
Under the theme Rainbow Love, the band’s message will centre around the elimination of HIV- related stigma and discrimination.
In a statement, the Commission noted the cyclical relationship between HIV and stigma, stating: “This causes already vulnerable groups to be further marginalized, and forces the disease underground and out of the reach of HIV services.”
Observing that stigma could, for example, deter people from getting tested, thereby preventing them from knowing their status, the Commission added that stigma and discrimination were found in every setting including schools, workplaces, church and even families.
That, according to Director of the Commission, Lynn Armstrong, was why the Commission had decided to highlight the human rights approach to the HIV challenge.
She noted that under international human rights laws and treaties to which Barbados was signatory, as well as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, every person had a right to health and equal treatment before the law.
“Every person has a right to dignity and pursuit of happiness,” she said.