Message from President James A Michel on the World AIDS day.
Sat, 01 December 2012
As we commemorate World AIDS Day on the 1st December and 25 years after the first HIV case was detected in Seychelles, I would like to convey a message of hope and determination.
It is the time when we should reassert our will to tackle the epidemic with increased vigor. Science has brought us closer to a cure. There are treatment protocols that have saved lives and helped reduce transmission. In spite of the scientific progress, major challenges remain to be urgently addressed.
HIV transmission by illicit intravenous drug use is a dark reality in our land. The detox centre is still in its infancy. It needs all our support to help pull out our youth from this terrible scourge. My government salutes such great initiative.
Let us keep up the hope to save our children.
We now have policy and strategic documents that were developed with the help of local and international stakeholders to provide new cost-effective directions.
The National AIDS Council secretariat is getting more prominence as it is being elevated from the Ministry of Health to the Vice President’s office to ensure greater coordination of the national response.
We have to do a lot more to fight HIV/AIDS. Other social ills and addictions have rendered the problem even more complex to tackle. Fortunately, we have people from government, the private sector, NGOs, faith-based organizations and individuals who relentlessly give of their time and other resources to fight the battles at hand.
Together with families and friends, they have offered their hands and given of themselves for this noble cause. I thank them and encourage them to double their effort.
We need more hands on board. We need more people to get engaged in treatment, care, support and prevention if we are to achieve the three zeros being promulgated by UNAIDS. We share the vision of Zero new infections, Zero HIV/AIDS related deaths, and Zero discrimination of people infected or affected by this gruesome disease.
After 25 years of lessons, we cannot overemphasize the devastation and catastrophe that the HIV/AIDS disease may cause in our small community.
In solidarity with those infected or affected, let us apply our new strategies for the realisation of the three-zero principle and vision: that no other Seychellois gets infected with HIV, no other Seychellois dies of AIDS and no other Seychellois ever suffers discrimination because of being infected or affected by HIV or AIDS.
The battle has to be won. We can only do so if we remain united in our effort.