The process of developing a National HIV/AIDS policy to guide critical decisions relating to HIV/Aids for Dominica ,has begun to take shape.
Several stakeholders earlier this week, participated in an HIV/AIDS national policy development consultation at the Prevost Cinemall.
Speaking at the Consultation Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of
Health Helen Royer said while the strides made in tackling the HIV/Aids epidemic have been tremendous and constant, it can no longer be business as usual.
She warned that the HIV/Aids problem remains a major development crisis that affects all sectors worldwide.
“Actually during the last two decades the HIV/Aids epidemic has spread insistently affecting people in all walks of life and decimating the most productive segments at the population particularly between women and men between the ages of 20 and 49”.Royer told stakeholders.
She said the development of the national Aids policy will therefore require a national response which must be multisectoral and multidisciplinary.
Meantime, Coordinator of the national HIV/AIDS prevention unit Nurse Julie Frampton says policies and legislation are required to prevent unfair discrimination against people living with HIV/ Aids in work places including government departments. Frampton says there also needs to be appropriate implementation of HIV/AIDS prevention programs.
“The HIV/Aids epidemic raises many human rights issues that require clear policy and legal responses by governments”.she declared
The proposed National HIV/Aids policy is expected to be drafted and sent to government before year end.