Soroptimist International of Port of Spain (SIPOS) in partnership with the National AIDS Coordinating Committee (NACC) commissioned four (4) short videos which are relevant to the various forms of HIV and AIDS stigma. The launch of these videos was strategically planned for 1 March 2022 which is Zero Discrimination Day. 

SIPOS and NACC are making a contribution toward the UNAIDS–led global effort “to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030” as part of the Sustainable Development Goals, through the production and dissemination of educational resource material aimed at reducing the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS. 

The reduction of this stigma could lead to greater understanding of the disease by the general population and thus better management of the disease through more persons being tested, more persons seeking treatment and staying on medication and a reduction in new cases.  

A one-year timeline for the rollout of the programme is being developed which would also incorporate a monitoring and evaluation framework. The material will be gifted to interested non-profit organisations (NGOs) and institutions who will be encouraged to implement strategies for the engagement and discussion of the videos in their communities via communication channels, workshops or focus group sessions in order to raise awareness and remove the stigmatization.  

While the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is doing fairly well in some areas towards the control of the spread of HIV, the fear of discrimination and the stigma that our society expresses prevent many of the persons with HIV from seeking the services and medication that will allow them to have long, productive lives. Our recent statistics show that it is the 15-49 age group within the population who continue to be the group with new HIV cases. 

SIPOS is a member of Soroptimist International which is a worldwide organization for women in management and other professions, working through service projects to advance human rights and the status of women. 

The NACC is a multi-sectoral coordination committee involved in building and deepening multi-sectoral partnership to achieve national commitment, support and ownership of the HIV and AIDS response. 

Image: Symbolic Handover of HIV Anti-Stigma Videos (L-R): Ms Heather Rodney, Chair of the National AIDS Coordinating Committee officially receives the four (4) HIV Anti-Stigma videos from Ms Patricia Adams, Programme Action Officer, Soroptimist International, Port of Spain which were launched on the occasion of Zero Discrimination Day 2022.