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Leading by example, Minister Cox gets tested during the HIV/AIDS Coordinating Unit’s Testing Drive and encourages persons to get tested. As Trinidad and Tobago joins the international community to commemorate World

The Ministry of Social Development and Family Services (MSDFS) yesterday joined the world in celebrating World AIDS Day 2020.

World AIDS Day is held on December 1 every year, since its establishment in 1988.

MSDFS Minister Donna Cox described this as an opportunity to celebrate and support global efforts to prevent new HIV infections, increase HIV awareness and knowledge, and support those living with HIV/AIDS.

Under the theme, “Global Solidarity, Shared Responsibility”, the ministry’s HIV/AIDS Coordinating Unit recently hosted a series of activities which instilled a need among all employees to develop more positive and enabling attitudes, values and behaviours towards the community, particularly within the context of the new normal.

The Unit yesterday hosted a brief prize-giving ceremony at the MSDFS Head Office, Port-of-Spain.

During her remarks at the ceremony, Cox congratulated the winners for their enthusiasm and recognition of their personal and professional development.

Among those receiving prizes were Karyn Reyes, Tessa Pascall, Ormila Sookdeo, and Mariah Celestine–winners of the HIV/AIDS Ribbon Hunt, HIV Knowledge Passage, HIV Word Search and World AIDS Day 9-0 Competitions.

During the feature address, Cox reaffirmed her commitment to proactively explore opportunities to ensure that no one is left behind.

She said: “My insight and respect for the community of Persons Living with HIV has grown admirably; so much so that I continue to take a more critical look at the policies, legislation and certainly, the operations of the Ministry’s HIV Unit with a view to doing more within our remit.

“It is the responsibility of this Ministry to guarantee that persons within this community are not only afforded the necessary access to programmes, grants and services but also, assured of our commitment towards the establishment of an inclusive and enabling environment with the knowledge and competencies of all staff at the helm.”