Message from the Minister for Health on World Aids Day 2023 |01 December 2023
‘The world can end Aids, with communities leading the way’
“Seychelles joins the rest of the world to commemorate World Aids Day on Friday December 1, 2023.
“On World Aids Day, we show our support for people living with HIV and Aids in Seychelles and around the world. We remember those we have lost to this pandemic, and recognise the strength and resilience of people who are living with HIV.
“This important day is also an opportunity to reflect on the progress made to date, raise awareness about the challenges that remain to achieve the goals of ending Aids by 2030 and mobilise all stakeholders to jointly redouble efforts to ensure the success of the HIV response.
“The theme for World Aids Day 2023 - ‘Let communities lead’ - is a celebration of the achievements of communities, as well as a call to action to enable and support communities in their leadership roles.
“The world can end Aids, with communities leading the way. Organisations of communities living with, at risk of, or affected by HIV are the frontline of progress in the HIV response. Communities connect people with person-centered public health services, build trust, innovate, monitor implementation of policies and services, and hold providers accountable.
“In November 2023, Seychelles hosted the 19th Regional HIV Colloquium. This platform brought together communities and health providers from countries in the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) region, to share experiences and learn from each other. The recommendations from that forum will be formulated into an action plan and implemented by all partners.
“The ministry is currently updating its testing and treatment guidelines for HIV, Hepatitis and Sexually Transmitted Infections, with the goal of accelerating prevention, diagnosis, treatment and thus reducing the health impacts of these infections on people in our country. Further to that, the ministry will be strengthening community testing by making available rapid testing kits for HIV and Syphilis.
“The ministry is also conducting a review of the National HIV programme. This review, in collaboration with all partners and the communities, will culminate in the development of the new HIV and Hepatitis strategic plan 2024-2028.
“Effective community leadership must be a key component of these strategies. The Ministry of Health calls on all its partners to work together to remove obstacles that are hindering community leadership and obstructing progress of HIV prevention and treatment services.
“Because change depends not on a moment but on a movement, the message ‘Let Communities Lead’ will not only ring out on World Aids Day but also continue to echo throughout December and beyond. “Together, we can unleash the full potential of community leadership to enable the end of this epidemic for good, at home and around the world.”
Minister for Health