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National Assembly

Communicable Diseases, HIV/Aids, and SRHR Committee commemorates World Aids Day |05 December 2023

Communicable Diseases, HIV/Aids, and SRHR Committee commemorates World Aids Day

To commemorate World Aids Day, the Communicable Diseases, HIV/Aids, and Sexual Reproductive Health & Rights (SRHR) Committee of the National Assembly, organised a small event at its headquarters yesterday morning.

Aligning with the theme for 2023, ‘Let Communities Lead’, the chairperson of the committee, John Hoareau, explained that “the National Assembly shows solidarity towards people living with HIV/Aids and they need to be represented also. We have to eliminate the barriers that affect them in their daily lives as it is a human right. It is important for us National Assembly members to voice out for them. Our work is to work in collaboration with other stakeholders to pool resources, amplify prevention efforts, enhance care services, and eliminate stigma and discrimination surrounding HIV/Aids.”

MNA Hoareau acknowledged that people still have false ideas about HIV/Aids and with the advancement of medicine in that field, a person with HIV can live long and healthy.

During the event, all MNAs were able to hear the powerful message from Reginald Hoareau, a person living with HIV. “I have been diagnosed with HIV at 18, facing stigma and discrimination in Seychelles. Now at 46 years old, despite challenges, I have been able, through my family support and my determination to live a normal life. We still need to discuss HIV awareness, the need for open dialogue, and challenges in dealing with the virus today.”

“The most important part in the struggle is to eradicate discrimination and promote testing. With the support of the previous and current government, I am grateful that people living with HIV/Aids are still having access to treatment.  I am here today to ask for acceptance and respect for people living with HIV/Aids, and encourage others to know their status. I also hope the committee will work together with us to promote a healthy society,” shared Mr Hoareau.

The committee representing the National Assembly stands in solidarity with the ministry responsible for HIV/Aids, all stakeholders, and the entire Seychellois community impacted by this global health concern. Together, they aim to reflect on the progress achieved and strategise on converting challenges into opportunities to meet the ambitious goal of ending Aids by 2030.

The Speaker of the National Assembly, Roger Mancienne, also lit up a candle in memory of those who have lost their lives to Aids, and also show commitment to work towards a future free from the impact of HIV/Aids.

At the end of the small ceremony, the committee facilitated on-site HIV testing and the members voluntarily did their test. There were pamphlets and condoms distributed freely also.


Vidya Gappy

Photos: Louis Toussaint

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