“Wilful exposure to HIV” should be criminalised, says Health Minister

Health Minister Dr Clarice Modeste is concerned about persons who are wilfully transmitting HIV to others, and believes that the law should step in where there is evidence that a person is exposing others to the virus as a means of revenge.

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“There are those who are saying when they discover their positive status, I ain’t going down so alone,” Modeste told the Parliament on Wednesday while contributing to the 2013 Budget Debate. The first case of HIV was diagnosed in 1984, and current data reveals that there have been more than 485 cases reported in Grenada.

Dr Modeste said that one of the goals of her Ministry for 2013 is to strengthen the HIV programme in the area of public education. “We cannot stop educating the people. We have to continue educating the public about protection, not just from HIV & AIDS but other health related ailments,” she said.

She disclosed to the House that the data is very encouraging with regards to persons who are on ARV treatment, as those who are being treated are living productive lives, while most pregnant mothers who were diagnosed and received that necessary treatment were able to deliver negative status babies. “We have had eleven babies born to HIV mothers, and of that figure, nine are so far negative and while the result of two are pending,” she said.

Urging that all sexually active persons take the relevant precautions and actions to protect themselves from all forms of sexually transmitted disease, Dr Modeste called on the media to assist in educating the general public in that area.

“When I spoke to the team at the HIV programme, I was told that money is need for everything to be aired on the media, but I beg of the media to give some time even if its once a month towards educating the people about HIV,” she said.

 

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