Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Getting to Zero

At 17 years old her body shows promise of the woman she is becoming. Her eyes sparkle when she talks and you can feel the excitement when she explains her current passion. Lately her eyes are dull and her mood sombre because positive is the last word she expected to hear. They tell her that living with AIDS is possible but her mind has not yet accepted her status.

Sadly, she is one of the large number of persons worldwide who have tested positive for HIV. According to the UNAIDS World AIDS Day report at the end of 2010, an estimated 34 million people [31.6 million–35.2 million] were living with HIV worldwide, up 17% from 2001. This reflects the continued large number of new HIV infections and a significant expansion of access to antiretroviral therapy, which has helped reduce AIDS-related.

The Caribbean has the second highest regional HIV prevalence after sub-Saharan Africa, although the epidemic has slowed considerably since the mid-1990s. In the Caribbean region, new HIV infections were reduced by a third from 2001 levels. HIV incidence has decreased by an estimated 25% in the Dominican Republic and Jamaica since 2001, while in Haiti it has declined by about 12%. Slowing HIV incidence and increasing access to HIV prevention services for pregnant women have led to a steep decline in the number of children newly infected with HIV and in AIDS-related deaths
among children. Unprotected sex is the primary mode of transmission in the Caribbean. The number of people living with HIV has also declined slightly since the early 2000s.

Increased access to antiretroviral therapy has led to a considerable drop in mortality associated with AIDS deaths, especially in more recent years. The theme for World AIDS Day 2011 is "Getting to Zero." with the focus aimed towards achieving 3 targets: Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths. In other words wrap it up, get tested, dismantle the AIDS related stigmas. Get the facts and act on them

Wednesday, November 23, 2011



Tomorrow my American friends will celebrate Thanksgiving Day. For me though, each day I try to find something to be thankful about even on those days when nothing seems to go right. That's because at some point I realise there is the hope of a better tomorrow and so I give thanks. Today I am very grateful that all my senses work and most times I am able to make the right decisions.

I am grateful for a job that I truly love and the children who continue to bring out the best in me. I've heard it said that the children I teach are lucky to have me as their teacher but I am the lucky one for having them. They have taught me patience and to look at life with their sense of wonderment and less of my cynicism. And so I give thanks for the joy they bring to my life.

I am thankful for the special people in my life. The ones who offer encouragement when all I want to do is give up, provide a listening ear when it's needed or simply join me in silliness. I am so grateful for the balance you bring to my life. So while turkey and cranberry sauce will not fill our homes tomorrow we can still be thankful for the breadfruit and saltfish.

Happy Thanksgiving to my North American friends who observe the holiday.

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