Press release

Message from President James Michel – World Aids Day, 1st December 2011

December 1, 2011

On this occasion of World AIDS Day, on behalf of the government and people of Seychelles, I renew the commitment that we will continue providing treatment and support freely to all persons living with and affected by HIV and AIDS.

And to those who do not know their HIV status, I urge you once again to do the test. It is for free. If you are positive, you too can benefit from treatment, and take the steps to protect others. If you test negative, do your best to continue protecting yourself.

I would like to call on young people to change their behaviour and attitude, by showing a greater sense of responsibility and respect for each other, so that through a more healthy and moral way of life they will help to stop HIV/AIDS from spreading.

Our wish is that out of our social renaissance movement a resolution will emerge to once again encourage our population to adopt healthy lifestyles.

On this World AIDS Day, I wish to commend the various people, in Government agencies, the private sector, NGOs, community-based organisations, faith-based organisations and other entities that are working with love, compassion and dedication to help us as a nation to effectively address the issue of HIV and AIDS.
We must continue the fight for the sake of our children and our nation. We must win this fight for Seychelles. We must focus on

“Getting to Zero” in line with the United Nations’ theme for this year and the coming five years. All efforts should aim for:

Zero new infections: by targeting people who are not HIV positive, to reduce the risk of being infected. This calls for re-strategizing behavior change and communication.

Zero AIDS deaths: for those living with HIV/AIDS to ensure they have access to treatment, care and support. This can be achieved, given the commitment of resources, to ensure that access to care and treatment are not limited.

Zero discrimination of people most at risk of getting infected, and for those infected with HIV/AIDS to ensure the right to use all services available without stigma.

We all need to change mindsets, attitudes and behaviours if we are to succeed. I believe that we can. We must win against HIV/AIDS