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Health minister to lobby for lifting ban that discriminates against HIV positive persons

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Contact: Amanda Faye Clarke

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 – Minister for Health and Wellness Honourable Dr. Keith Mondesir, pledges his commitment to work with the international community in lifting the ban for the entry of HIV infected people into certain countries.

This plea for more empathy towards persons infected with HIV, was made days before Saint Lucia joins the rest of the globe in observing World AIDS DAY on the first of December.

Dr. Mondesir says there must be a shift in the mindset of everyone, if the global society has to remain progressive and productive.

“I want everyone to respect people with HIV because they are human beings and they have to live with us. We know that you can't touch someone and get HIV, it's a little more than that. We are pleading to those countries that are employing discriminatory practices by denying those people entrance to their shores, to desist from so doing.”

Dr. Mondesir says he believes it is in the best interest of all, to preserve the dignity of people living with HIV, as their rights are in fact human rights.

“ We are blessed in Saint Lucia that though we suffer from HIV, we can see a decline in the number of new cases. This is because we are continually educating our people. We are asking our people to take the necessary precautions to control this deadly disease,” Dr. Mondesir said.

St. Lucia's activities in observance of World AIDS Day will be held under the theme, “Shine Your Lights on Human Rights”.

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