This year, 2022, the AIDS Secretariat will be commemorating World AIDS Day by hosting a week of activities, from November 27 to December 2.
Oswald Hannis, the Senior Counselor and Educator at the AIDS Secretariat, says the activities will begin with a church service, on Sunday, at the Spring Gardens Moravian Church on St. John’s Street.
Hannis says that offering praise and worship is very important, since HIV/AIDS numbers have been down, especially in the Caribbean and Latin America, these past several years.
The following day, Monday, November 28, is dubbed Media Day, and members of the Secretariat will appear on the various media to speak about their work and share information about the Secretariat, Hannis says.
HIV Education sessions will be held in the secondary schools on Tuesday, November 29, and there will be an Open House and Street Fair at the corner of Long and Temple Streets.
Then, on World AIDS Day, December 1, a “Rock the Red Ribbon Day” is being hosted, and persons are asked to wear something red to highlight HIV and AIDS awareness.
Ribbons are available at the AIDS Secretariat for a donation of $3 each and metal pins at $10 each; these funds go back to programmatic activities that target vulnerable populations.
There will also be the World AIDS Day March, which starts at 10 a.m. and will make its way from the old House of Culture through the streets of St. John’s and end at the Antigua Recreation Grounds.
According to Hannis, at 11 a.m. on that day, the Antigua and Barbuda Workers’ Union will host a World AIDS Day HIV Testing and Education Session at its headquarters. And on Friday, December 2, there will be a World AIDS Day event for the Spanish community in front of the AIDS Secretariat.
Hannis says that activities will also be held on Barbuda. These include a HIV Testing and Health Screening exercise at the Fisheries Complex; a Glow March through Codrington; a Street Fair; HIV Testing and Health Screening; a church service; and an HIV-Awareness Dance.
These activities will run from December 8 to 10.