Hetty Sarjeant, Representative of the United Nations Population Fund in the English and Dutch Speaking Caribbean, wants the region`s media to play a lead role in the battle against HIV/AIDS in the Caribbean. With HIV/AIDS posing a serious development challenge in the Caribbean, Sarjeant said governments, inter-governmental organisations and NGOs ought to create strong partnerships with regional writers and editors to combat the epidemic.
“Clearly presented, accurate stories on dealing sensibly with HIV-AIDS will save lives in the Caribbean,” said Sarjeant, who asked, “how often in life will you be given a chance to save a life?” To encourage Caribbean reporters and editors to keep Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights including HIV/AIDS education in the headlines, Sarjeant`s Jamaica-based office is mounting the 2003 UNFPA Caribbean Media Awards, offering more than US$6,000 in cash prizes, airline tickets and hotel stays at an awards ceremony slated for Jamaica in November.
This year`s awards are open to all Caribbean-based journalists covering “Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” issues in the region. This includes stories or reports on curbing the spread of HIV/AIDS, early initiation of sexual activity, fostering behavioural change, promoting gender equality, sexual exploitation (including sex tourism) and population, poverty reduction and sustainable development.
The Awards will recognise writers, editors, broadcasters and media houses for work published or broadcast between September 30, 2002 and September 30, 2003 in print, radio and television categories. Entries will be accepted at respective United Nations Resident Coordinator offices in Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago c/o Ms. Hetty Sarjeant, UNFPA Representative, Kingston, Jamaica or sent directly to United Nations Population Fund, 60 Knutsford Boulevard, 8th Floor, Kingston, Jamaica. Deadline for entries is Wednesday, October 1, 2003.
Entries will be accepted from the following Caribbean territories (which are within the UNFPA sub-regional jurisdiction):
Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, Netherland Antilles, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Turks and Caicos Islands and Trinidad and Tobago.
Confronting sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS, is an urgent challenge, especially in the Caribbean sub-region, which has the highest incidence of HIV/AIDS
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