Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 8th 2017 Contents tobagotoday.co.tt March 8 - 2017
Deyalsingh concerned about infidelity and HIV/Aids
The fight against HIV/Aids will not be
won unless people start taking personal
responsibility, especially men who chose to
have unprotected sex outside of marriage
and committed relationships.
So said Health Minister Terrence Deyals-
ingh who also expressed concern about the
fact that the Caribbean has the second high-
est prevalence of HIV/Aids in the world after
Deyalsingh gave the feature address at the
opening ceremony of the fifth meeting of
the National Aids Programme managers and
key partners held at Parliament yesterday.
The three day meeting focuses on regional
collaborative efforts to support country
responses by addressing common challeng-
es in areas of evidence based policy formu-
lation and technical assistance.
On the issue of infidelity, Deyalsingh said
he had listened to a local radio programme
a few weeks ago on the topic of unprotect-
ed sex where some male callers admitted
they were married or in committed relation-
ships with one partner, but had numerous
"outside" sexual relationships in which they
used no condoms.
"If we do not admit the danger we are
putting ourselves in, especially the men---the
dangers they are putting themselves and
their partners in---we will not achieve the
90, 90, 90 target by 2020," the minister
The 90-90-90 target -- 90 per cent of
people with HIV diagnosed, 90 per cent of
diagnosed people on treatment and 90 per
cent of treated people with fully suppressed
viral load by 2020, is an initiative of UNAids
intended to galvanise national and global
action to control HIV and end the Aids epi-
demic by 2030.
Deyalsingh said such reckless behaviour
by men contributes to a deterioration of
morals and values and prolongs the fight
against the virus, as efforts made could be
He said it is time that governments reca-
librate the response to HIV/Aids, not only
clinically, but in terms of a communication
response that would lead to serious behaviour
change, especially among Caribbean men.
He said condom use is still rejected by men
and such thinking must be immediately
Deyalsingh urged women not give in to
men who object to condom use as their lives
could be at risk.
"I can tell you too many men in the Carib-
bean and in T&T still feel it is not macho
to have sex with a condom and literally put
so much pressure on their female partners
to have unprotected sex and very often the
females given in, especially if that male is
the sole bread winner. "How do you combat
that?" he asked
He said what was also daunting was that
while more and more women are taking
responsibility for their health and are being
tested for the virus, men are not doing the
"But who is the primary vector, the pri-
mary carrier? We have to have an honest
discussion in the Caribbean about how do
we get our men especially and women to
take responsibility to stop the spread of HIV,"
the minister said. (Trinidad Guardian)
Trade Union joins Violence Against Women Fight
Jillian Bartlett-Alleyne, President
of the National Union of Govern-
ment(NUGFW) signalled the Union's
intent to play a significant role in the
fight against crime and violence.
Speaking at an event put on by the
NUGFW's Women's Executive Coun-
cil in collaboration with the Division
of Health, Wellness and Family Devel-
opment and other stakeholders on the
topic "Elimination of Violence against
Women in our Society" at NUGFW's
Tobago Headquarters on March 3, she
told participants a multi-disciplinary
approach is needed to address the
violence in our society."
"Violence needs a multi-disciplinary
approach" to deal with our perpetra-
tors and victims, she said as she gave
the assurance that "the NUGFW is
willing to be the change that is need-
ed in our country."
Mrs Bartlett-Alleyne said this coun-
try "has to change in order to change
the violence in our society."
The panel discussion was held to
sensitize members of the public on
the issues of violence against women
in Tobago and empower them to play
an active role.
Ninety per cent of the partici-
pants were female and included
representatives from the protective
services, non-governmental organ-
isations and the NUGFW.
The panel was moderated by Dr
Eastlyn Mc Kenzie. Other panellist
included Mrs. Bartlett-Alleyne, Mrs.
Suzette Woods-James -- Acting Super-
intendent, Trinidad and Tobago Police
Service, Mr. Nigel Phillip -- Gender
Officer, Division of Health, Wellness
and Family Development, Ms. Onika
Mars -- Survivor and Founder of Sit
and Chat (N.G.O) and Ms. Kamane
Saman -- People against Domestic
THA's representative Nigel Phillip
stressed that "the Government cannot
deal with domestic violence alone"
and called for everyone to play their
part. He and Mrs Woods-James also
shared the different avenues available
to assist domestic violence domestic
Mars and Saman gave their person-
al experiences. They both urged all
domestice violence victims to "stand
up, get out, be empowered and move
The panel discussion is one of the
ways the Division of Health, Wellness
and Family Development is seeking to
educate and empower women, par-
ticularly as they approach Interna-
tional Women's Day. It is celebrated
on 8th March. The theme for this year
is "Be Bold for Change."
Dr. Eastlyn Mc Kenzie, right, moderator for the discussion.
A cross-section of the attendees.
Jillian Bartlett-Alleyne -- President, NUGFW delivers her contribution.
Some members of the panel: From left, Nigel Phillip -- Gender Officer, Division of Health, Wellness and Family
Development, Suzette Woods-James -- Acting Superintendent, Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, Kamane
Saman -- People against Domestic Abuse (N.G.O) and Onika Mars -- Survivor and Founder of Sit and Chat
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