Prime Minister Owen Arthur and Dr. Carol Jacobs Should Resign~Both Have Failed Barbados In The Fight Against The Spread Of HIV/AIDS

THE DESIRE for “bling” and showy possessions are the two main factors driving the precocious sexual activity among secondary and tertiary school students. Behaviour change consultant to the National HIV/AIDS Commission, Marilyn Sealy, disclosed this and other findings at the commission’s research symposium yesterday at Hilton Barbados. From a three-year study that examined the theme, “Risk Perception And Sexual Practices Among Teenagers In Barbados,” she stated that 85% of the participants interviewed who were between the ages of 15 and 18 were sexually active. The National HIV/AIDS Commission of Barbados, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, facilitated the whole-day seminar which examined many of the issues dealing with HIV/AIDS in Barbados, and by extension the wider Caribbean community.
“15% cited clothes, money and peer pressure as factors leading to sexual activity . . . . It’s interesting to see how they get their clothes and bus fare for school; sex is a big factor. That’s how they make their money and how their parents pay their bills.” The 2004 study took place during the Crop-Over Festival period where the researchers were present at official events and theme parties. Several risqué photographs taken on site were displayed yesterday highlighting sexually explicit positions and revealing attire. This prompted Sealy to make links between rape and scantily clad women, as well as, the music culture and promiscuity. Sealy also stated that results from the study showed that the level of HIV/AIDS awareness was elevated, but most believed they were exempt from the disease; the notion was it primarily befalls prostitutes or homosexuals.
The investigation also highlighted that, despite the high awareness of the dangers involved, “Barbadian youths continue to practice early sexual initiation, multiple sexual partners and non-use of condoms”. She also spoke to high levels of ignorance surrounding sexual relations. “Their sexual practices were mostly unprotected and included anal, oral, and vaginal sex,” she noted. A lot of young people indicated that if they practiced anal sex then they would remain virgins. They felt their hymen would still be intact, Sealy added.
Source: Nation Newspaper

jacobs.jpg Prime Minister, O$A

On the 25th September 2007, BU highlighted the cry by a leading Sexually Transmittal Infection (STI) Specialist in Barbados, Dr.Vijaya Thani. In that article her concerns about the lifestyle behaviour of our teenagers was evident. We continue to be very concern about the inability of the relevant agencies in Barbados to make an impression on our youths. They need to initiate lifestyle changes in order to arrest the spread of HIV and AIDS. We highlighted that the responsibility for HIV/AIDS falls under the portfolio of no less a person than Prime Minister Owen Arthur who took charge in 2001. He has appointed the very eminently qualified Dr. Carol Jacobs who has had access to a World Bank loan of USD15.5 million dollars to disseminate her message. It has now been over 6 years; based on feedback from Dr. Thani and scientific research by Marilyn Sealy – Change Consultant at the National HIV/AIDS Commission our young people continue to engage in sexual behaviour which demonstrates a high order of ignorance. As Barbadians when we reconcile the sexual behavior of our youth to what our authorities would have the world believe that we are an educated people, the great paradox is evident for all Barbadians to ruminate.

Where do we go from here?

If we are to evaluate the performance of the Prime Minister and Dr. Carol Jacobs given the abysmal results of the HIV/AIDS awareness campaign to date, the logical reaction by concerned Barbadians should be to ask both individuals to resign from their respective positions and give others a chance to perform such tasks. We do not think that it is an unreasonable request to make. Performance and only performance should be the main factor to determine whether individuals remain in jobs. Barbados, with its recent reports in the media, occupy a high global position as far as the number of Barbadians suffering with communicable and non-communicable diseases. When will Barbados, as a small country, which aspires to First World status by 2025, realizing that the date keeps shifting, get up and start to grab our society back from the precipice of destruction. If readers believe that we are alarmists then they should have a look at the current state of many African countries. We all know that for any country to achieve First World status the issue of productivity of our people must be a priority. We know that any nation which is infected with high levels of HIV/AIDS will see a compromise in its ability to produce at a high level.

It is no Secret

It is no secret that the lifestyle behaviour which Marilyn Sealy – Consultant HIV/AIDS Commission highlighted at the recent seminar also exist within our adult population. Barbados is a small rock and the business of our friends and neighbours is well known. The promiscuity which occurs in Barbados on a daily basis would make for a successful soap opera production to rival the “Bold & Beautiful” and the “Young and the Restless.” Regrettably, although reputed to be an educated nation, we continue to bury our heads in the sand and pray that our HIV/AIDS problems would fade away.

We are too intelligent a people to remain focus on politics only. The social well being of our little island must begin to take centre stage. We know that people nowadays hate it when old farts like us moralize, but that is ok. How do we solve the great paradox that confronts us? People are aware of the dangers of unprotected sex but they don’t care anyway. Who will lead us?

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Barbados Losing The Fight Against The Deadly HIV/AIDS Disease According To STI (Sexually Transmitted Infections) Specialist Dr.Vijaya Thani

58 thoughts on “Prime Minister Owen Arthur and Dr. Carol Jacobs Should Resign~Both Have Failed Barbados In The Fight Against The Spread Of HIV/AIDS

  1. Pingback:   Prime Minister Owen Arthur and Dr. Carol Jacobs Should Resign~Both … by

  2. BU has Dr Jacobs really failed… her mandate as I understand it is to educate and that certainly is being done.

    Hers is an informative role we see the ads we hear of the lectures and interactive sessions in schools… The youth are informed but there continues to be the “that won’t happen to me” attitude. Education myst start at home and parents must talk with their children… in todays fast paced world where material possessions are the be all and end all of life parents are too busy working their 10 and 12 hour days to interact with their children.

    We need to slow down take stock and communicate with our children

  3. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Barbados: Arresting the Spread of HIV-AIDS

  4. WHY why~we agree that they have gotten the message out there and young people are aware but until there is a relationship between being aware and behaviour then we all are failing. We agree that parents need to be more active but the idea of a village raising a child is long gone and we are seeing the price of progress. If Dr. Jacobs and the AIDS Commission are getting the message out but there is no change in the behaviour of our young people are you saying we should give her a pat on the back?

  5. The PM or Dr. Jacobs can’t compel anybody to engage in safe sex. All the government can do is make sure the public has the most current and accurate info to make informed decisions. The government has done its job. The root of the problem is the non-parents who are having these kids.

  6. David

    This highlights a basic issue that we seem to have in Barbados.
    The inability to deal with with REAL problem solving.

    What is the PROBLEM?

    NOT that people don’t know about AIDS, but that AIDS is a serious threat to national development and that our behaviors are causing it to spread.

    You would think that a ‘solution’ would be judged by its effect in REDUCING the spread of AIDS and the threat to national development.
    What Education What?!?

    What does ‘education’ have to do with it?!?

    Now if everyone knows the danger, but AIDS is spreading even more than when we were ignorant….. FAILURE.

    It is the same thing with youth deviance.

    Millions of dollars wasted every year on ’bout 20 children in the so called ‘youth service’ which waits until children have become a ‘problem’ after 10 years of expensive wasted school life – and then put them in a rehab program for 3 months and expect to succeed.

    Did you see the proposal from the Cadet Corps for a review of the Youth Service? – it would never be accepted here – it makes too much sense..

    …must be something we eat….

  7. de Gap your argument like BT writes is not solving the problem. We know that parental delinquency is a serious problem but it will not go away so what are we to do? We have to become radical in our approach to the problem.

    Maybe we should make sex under 16 illegal or maybe put condom machines in every school?

  8. As a volunteer dealing with the HIV/Aids situation in Barbados, there are a number of things which we need to be aware of.

    Everyday, there are volunteers out there working hard, speaking with young (and not so young) people, distributing condoms, speaking on the issue of abstinence, testing for HIV, counselling people, doing their endeavour best to stop the progress of this disease.

    The fact is this is not a political problem. This is a behavioural problem. We have married women who are being infected by husbands who they trust (or trusted) because the husbands have two or three (or more) women and have unprotected sex with them. We have married women who are being infected by husbands who are on the down-low.

    We have young girls and women who, as the article rightly said, are fascinated by the “bling” and there are men or as we know it…hard back men…who should know better and are having unprotected sex with them.

    We have young boys and men who still feel that the number of girls or women they have make them “a man” and therefore have unprotected sex because HIV can’t happen to them.

    We have women who because they know no better, have low esteem etc will have unprotected sex with a man because he says “there’s no one else”.

    Until we stop with this “us” vs “them” mentality, this disease will not stop. The US$15 million dollars and more is being spent anti-retroviral drugs FREE OF COST to any Barbadian who has been diagnosed with HIV/Aids. The US$15 million is being spent on the treatment of babies to HIV infected mothers so they DON’T contract the disease. In 2006, out of the 37 pregnant mothers infected with HIV and who gave birth, only ONE baby was HIV positive.

    The US$15 million and more is being spent on advertising, education campaigns and THE MEDICATION to put a stop to this disease.

    Unless ALL OF US look at our behaviours and recognise that we too have a part to play in reducing the spread of this disease, we dare not criticize or ask for the removal of Dr. Carol Jacobs. She has, without a doubt, spearheaded the fight against this disease and has propelled this fight forward.

    I strongly believe that without her input, her knowledge, skill and time, Barbados would be a lot worse off.

  9. A mouthful of common sense has been spoken here.

    Doctors can only do so much. It is like the saying “you can take a horse to water but you cannot make it drink”.

    Look at the millions who are dying from heart/stroke, diabetes, obesity, myriad cancers etc ans which most could avoid yet they chose not to until they become a victim.

    Lifestyle changes such as a healthy diet, exercise, watching your weight, getting rest, not smoking and not drinking in excess have been shown to be the real prventative medicine against most fatal diaseases. But no matter how much the medical communities and Governments spend and lecture to us we ignore them.

    We the people are too quick to blame others for what we are responsible for and that is neither fair or just.

  10. What worse off what?!? Lady Anon?

    The FACT is that in the ‘old time days’ our ‘ignorant fore-parents’ INSISTED on something called morality and decency. They did not know SQUAT about HIV and Herpes, but they managed to get most of our young people to respect themselves.

    My parents only went to primary school – but they raised half dozen model citizens on next to nothing.

    You mean to tell me that now we got geniuses with multiple degrees, access to millions of dollars, endless technology, and and we not only have an epidemic of HIV, but IT IS GETTING WORSE and WORSE? – and you don’t think that something is FUNDAMENTALLY WRONG???

    I would think with all of our resources that we should expect BETTER results that our poor fore parents – don’t you?

    Obviously we are trying to solve the WRONG problem… just like the flyovers, the Greenland dump, the youth service…

    The drivers can’t drive and the passengers blind…

  11. Lady Anon, I thank you for your volunteer work. You state that the money has been well spent, and I am sure that some of it has. However I would be very happy if I could see some supporting audited financial statements.

    Where would I get these?

  12. de gap // Oct 17th 2007 at 8:32 am

    The PM or Dr. Jacobs can’t compel anybody to engage in safe sex. All the government can do is make sure the public has the most current and accurate info to make informed decisions. The government has done its job. The root of the problem is the non-parents who are having these kids.
    Hasn’t Dr. Jacob recieved some award? what was it for? Liberal never cease to amaze me. Once again are we to praise and award the effort, in the face of no results.?

    Society in the hands of liberals has become so backwards, and it is amazing to watch the looks of bewilderment, and blamelessness that gives them a pass for their doings. We have instituted the rights of the child, which in practice has been to give in to their demands, not make demands of them, reward them for little effort, and not punishing them or teaching them responsibility. Yet we think that given them information to change their behaviour which we didn’t manage and or control in the first place will lead them away from their “own way-ness”. We have elevated our “RIGHTS” and individualism within collective society, to such a level that to do as we please to allow “abortions” to allow all manner of devientcy, is now the norm. Dr. Jacobs and in particular Owen Arthur as the representative of government, who makes laws, recind laws, and sets the agenda of life and on life within the society are ultimately responsible for the alterations of our culture and it’s attending positiveness as well as setbacks.

  13. Lady Anon~keep up the good work. Ok we don’t blame you have done your job, Dr. Jacobs has been a Czar but when we look at the results Barbados continue to occupy top spot in this hemisphere regarding HIV/AIDS infections.

    We continue to be confused, who to blame? Parents who don’t care?
    The authorities who continue to pat their backs on the message being pushed but the situation getting worse?

    Help us to understand how our small society can get our young people to change their behaviour. Our article is deliberately provocative because we are tired of hearing the same old crap. What are we going to do about this mess before it reaches catastrophic proportions?

  14. Hello David,

    The blame must squarely go the way of Owen Arthur……..who has continually been HUMPING the young ladies around Barbados !

    Do you believe all these children of his now appearing around Barbados………..were the products of a star shining in the EAST…..?

    Bad EXAMPLE set……….is Bad EXAMPLE……followed !

  15. David,

    Again excellent work in bringing a critical situation to public notice.

    Let us try to use a little old fashioned common sense here….

    The problem is obviously a complex one… mainly stemming from
    – ignorance -(so education IS useful)
    – lack of public morals
    – Lack of self respect
    – Lack of PRIDE in self, family, community, and nation
    – Lack of LEADERSHIP in guiding our youth in uplifting ways.

    Where can these weaknesses be best addressed?

    Obviously, In the HOME. but it is equally obvious that that is not realistic because (as i have said before) the passengers are mostly blind anyhow… -we know the problems of modern parents)

    The church?? … lets move on..

    Next best – OUR SCHOOLS where our young people are held captive for about 15 years, every day..

    Are they any serious systematic attempts to MOLD these young, impressionable, intelligent children in a manner that encourages the kinds of behaviors that SOCIETY needs?
    – do your own checks — NO! we leave that to the ZR men, the Radio DJ’s, and the picky headed louts that roam aimlessly around the place.

    …OK!! not 100% true – the scouts, cadet corps and guides are voices in the wilderness in this regard. All these are VOLUNTEER organizations with little official help.

    What do you expect to result?

    ..would a wise driver ignore this situation and just hope that things improve?
    ..would a wise driver expect blind passengers to improve their behaviors because he (or she) spends millions in ‘pretty’ posters?

    ….and this is not to belittle great effort, but IF you don’t have a license – KEEP OUT THE PEOPLE DRIVERS SEAT…

  16. Jerome Hinds ~let us not trivialize this matter. Although there is something to be said about leading by example, especially from our policy makers, we cannot blame Arthur alone. As Minister in charge the accountability which Adrian H refers to is still very important. We cannot maintain business as usual in the face of failure. Other people need to be given a chance to try something different. Having said that we notice that there is a big campaign on in the world to sensitize people about anorexia. Some skinny and frightening looking women are being placed on billboards. Is this the way to go?

  17. Bush Tea // Oct 17th 2007 at 8:36 am


    This highlights a basic issue that we seem to have in Barbados.
    The inability to deal with with REAL problem solving.

    What is the PROBLEM?

    NOT that people don’t know about AIDS, but that AIDS is a serious threat to national development and that our behaviors are causing it to spread.

    Well BT to solve some problems the only answer lies in making demands, yes to be punitive, but as long as we have the Peter Wickhams and Mia Mottleys, pontificating unchallenged about individualism, the need to banish morals and the abhorrence of deviancy from the national mindset and setting the cultural agenda thru law making we will never be able to address many problems at their core. Remember if morals have no place in the life of society and we understand that Laws must be written to convey precisely what is intended with them, that they must be static and be interpreted with certainty to adjudicate wrong or right then the glaring draw back to being a society base on Law and law alone where moral adherence has little impact at any level of the society given the ingenuity of the human being to find ways around the unchanged laws, we will undoubtedly continue to see a break down in behaviours, and no one or no law in place to hold them to account. Shamed and disgrace being the punishment for moral transgressions and deviancy, no longer having the bite to deter potential wrong doers, because they have been dumb down to mere words,—–this is where we are at. At the end of the day the moral transgressors can proudly proclaim “i broke no law” and be allowed to walk away with head held high, to plot their next morally reprehensible activity safely around existing laws.

    ……Why do you think we have so much corruption from this current GoB? Why do you think that Minister Lynch could respond the way he did, to a reasonable set of questions concerning his pay and wealth, and the questioner be punish for so doing? We are a nation of laws and no morals, and rampant deviancy.

  18. The figure of the US $ 15 million where are the audited figures for the allocation and how these funds have been spent would be a very worthwhile exercise.
    What we have to remember that her husband Dr Haynes was bought out by Owing some years ago to keep his mouth shut and not to speak out about the wrongs of the BLP this was done by the awarding of a knighthood this may now be the cash portion of the award coming thru!!!

  19. Adrian Hinds

    My man, I agree with everything you said.

    wha’ foolishness is that? what you expect me to pick on now?

    man i gone…

  20. I do not want to start a bru ha ha on this subject but I think we all need to step back and THINK about some of our positions.

    We are in the twenty first century where the morality of yesteryear is considered archaic, promiscuity is a way of life and not only among young people but adults and even old people. 45 % of all marriages in North America or more end in divorce, common law and casual live together relationships are common place. The same is happening in Barbados, maybe not to the same extent but it is happening and with great frequency. I do not agree with it but how can we change it. There is no law against what these folk are doing.

    Divorcees and older single women are seeking out mates on the Internet. And then they meet at bars to check each other out. Many of these bizarre and irresponsible meetings end up with one night stands if you get my drift. These are all facts that are impacting the issue. The world has gone nuts!

    Statistics in North America recently confirmed that the aged mid sixties to seventies mainly widows and widowers are being impacted by Sexually transmitted diaseses in alarming numbers. Now here is a generation that should know better and are well informed about protection and are still getting infected.

    We have young people who are living on the edge participating in “extreme” sports that put their lives at serious risk. Many young people even if standing next to a condom machine opt not to use one because it is felt it is not cool to do so. This is a toatlly different generation to the one we grew up in. The same rules are not going to work for them because they write their own rules. Drugs are a big part of the problem an issue the generation of yesteryear did not have to deal with. This is no simple problem and education though helpful will only save the lives of those who accept enlightenment.

    I do not have the answers nor do I advocate turning our backs on it but some comments here do not seem to grasp the gravity and complexities of this sexually liberated generation that involves ALL age levels. Who obviously do not give a sh—-t. We just read a year ago about an Air Stewardess on Quantos I think who dropped her drawers at 40,000 feet to experience sex with a man she hardly knew in the washroom. I glad I was not in the washroom because she might have called on me too and I would have been embarassed because I have a weightless body part problem even on the ground! You think these male and female is mek sport?

    I get the distinct impression that many when it comes to sex and other social activities know about the risks etc and dont give a damn.

    Doctors can advise but many who they are advising and preaching to already know the facts and reality of the dangers and risks and don’t give a damn.

    More people are dying in Barbados from heart, stroke, cancers, diabetes, obesity etc, than by HIV/AIDS and see on CNN and on their own Nations TV that most of them can prevent early death by diet, exercise, weight control etc. How many pay any heed. And it is their own lives they don’t give a sh—-t about!

    Let me ask you commenters to reflect on this thought. Do any of you know how many Barbadians the poliicies of the good doctor and PM who you are criticizing, were saved by them because they listened? Is that not an important factor and how do we measure that aspect of the equation? Because we really have no way of knowing. Those who die and are actively being treated for HIV/AIDS is what we are using to pass judgment!

    We need to keep cool look at the big picture then face reaity for what it is.

    Look at the worlds position now on homosexuality it is in most nations acceptable with same sex marriages being embraced even by some churches. If I were to offer my opinion on how I see this thousands would condemn me. But if it is the law of the land then I have to accept it.

  21. It seems to me that a great deal have been done up to this point surrounding our AIDS/HIV disease, although many of us think there is more that can be done. In my opinion, this is no longer a blaming game, except that many of the youths seem to have a non-chalant attitude and therefore they have no one to blame but themselves. There is only so much that doctors, AIDS Commission, advocates, parents, etc can do in warning/teaching children about the dangers that can be associated with (early) sexual intercourse.

    I don’t think implementing a law, which states having sex under 16 is illegal, that it will do much, if anything, to change the minds of our youths. What kind of disciplinary action can be meted out if two children under 16 years have sex and one of them becomes infected with the disease or the girl becomes pregnant? Are we going to throw them under the bus to be an example? I would hope not.

    We can talk about abstinence ‘til the cows come home. With peer pressure and the like, I don’t believe most youths will take heed to that approach. We may criticize strongly alternative solutions that come across as encouraging our youths in inappropriate behavior at an early age, and branding parents as being unfit. However, with such a devastating disease, I think the time has come that we have to think realistically about what will curb the disease — the availability of both male and female condoms.

    The question that remains is, are Barbadians ready and willing to help fight vigorously to decrease the numbers/ratio of this disease by using realistic methods, or do they want to continue to keep thinking positively that the disease will decrease by being long winded.

    Currently, there is a debate going on at a school in the USA about placing condom machines starting in middle schools (between ages of 10-14). No doubt there would be many chupses and most likely no consideration for such a debate from many Barbadians and Caribbean people.

  22. Instead of jumping to a brash conclusion of the resignation of Mr. Arthur and Mrs Jacobs, we should looking at dealing with the said HIV/AIDS problems from within the home. This problem stems from two people engaging in sex without protection. Also partners having sex with someone carrying home the sickness. Are these scenarios the work of Mr. Arthur or Mrs Jacob? The commission can only sensitise the public about the dangers of HIV/AIDS, but it is left to individuals to comply. So stop the waste talk of humping since you might also be one of the humpers. Monies are spent on staff, brochures, pamphlets, stationaries, medication, training and any educational activities.

    Let us not be hypocritical regarding sexual morals by our fore parents. Sex is not anything new, this started from the days of Adam and Eve, we scarely hear about herpes or “a clap” the new word on the horizon is HIV/AIDS.

  23. May I summarize your comment ‘No Name’?
    …you are saying “I am a passenger.”

    I understand that, and I appreciate good people like you (most people) .. JUST DON’T OFFER TO DRIVE…’
    The FACT is that if the PM and his cabinet and the good (well meaning, hardworking and intelligent (and sweet looking) ) doctor were honest like you – THEY WOULD SAY THE SAME
    – ‘They do not know how to deal with the chaotic, devilish, sad situation that we face in this world with most of these issues.

    G.W.BUSH neither (well- he don’t know squat…)

    So why are they offering to drive?
    … and don’t you think that even if you find yourself behind the wheel… why not invite a wide range of suggestions and then see if we can’t collectively come up with a PLAN?

    You think it make sense to just rev up the engine and scratch off?? and then complain that you did not make progress because ‘it is a difficult course’.

    That is the problem…

  24. And Frankology,

    “this problem stems from two people engaging in sex without protection”?

    You think about that statement?

    Children and future generations come from that – that is NOT the problem at all…

    I like you on the flyover issue though…

  25. Dr. Jacobs may tell you that it “would not be productive” to publicly discuss why Peter Allard’s offer to finance an AIDS hospice was ignored.

  26. OK wise man Bush Tea, I should have expanded on the “sex without protection” . I was discussing uncommitted people who run around having sex here and there without a care in the world.

  27. HIV/AIDS educating start at home, we have to hide the notion that from our ten year olds do not have a clue about sex. Here it is that the commission is educating people of the dangers of risky sex; and television, movies and the internet are high-lightening the many arts during sex and shown to our youths. Thereby, it is left to parents and respectable adults to educate our youths that sex can be a medical gamble.

  28. Roll up Roll up chuck rocks at Dr Jacobs and the PM its all their fault.
    The answer to all problems BLAME someone else!

  29. I don’t think implementing a law, which states having sex under 16 is illegal, that it will do much, if anything, to change the minds of our youths. What kind of disciplinary action can be meted out if two children under 16 years have sex and one of them becomes infected with the disease or the girl becomes pregnant? Are we going to throw them under the bus to be an example? I would hope not.
    Laws and moral accountability, not one and not the other. Let me use a situation that we all may be aware of. Homosexuals in the 60’s 70′ and probably the 80’s would often say that they lived in fear, in the closet so to speak, the reason given is the back lash from friends and family, intolerance in public, and retribution in the workplace. Now many would argue that this was a discriminating set of practices “moral judgements in many cases backup in law”. Let us fast forward to now, in may societies these laws banning homosexuality and buggery are still on the law books and are rarely enforced. Public condemnation has significantly lessen to the point that in spite of their relationships being against the law they practice it freely, and apparently to some measure of their detriment since sexually transmitted deceases have increase significantly amongst this group as sub set of a larger increase in cases amongst the whole population of several societies, the argument is that they too are susceptible like straight people to being promiscuous. Again i am only using the scenario to make the point about morals and law working hand in hand to bring about a change, this time one that all of us should be invested in. So if we had a laws against 16 year old engaging in sexual acts, laws affecting marriage license issuance, a host of other legal implications for engaging in promiscuous behaviour, and have the attended public willingness to shame this behaviour whenever it occurs i believe that we could make some headway in lessening the spread of the HIV infections. In my mind there seems to be similarities between the Black plague and the HIV pandemic, and the attempt to battle the infection rate in all societies the same way as if all societies are the same (I don’t know i will have to research it), but all societies are not the same, and if public announcements, and education has yielded positive results in some societies and has failed in Barbados then we need to recognized the differences, look to any practices locally that has gain mass attention and mimic that practice with your messages. If having multiple partners is the single most cause for the increasing infection rate, then we should be willing to speak to it via laws and moral condemnation in and effort reverse it’s progression.

  30. Bush Tea old boy you lost me so I cannot respond as I would like.

    I really do not know what you are trying tell me. Maybe I am out of touch with the linguistic fineries of Bim.

    There is one thing I do know. There are several things in todays world that I might not agree with that will never be fixed in my and your lifetime if ever. Because none of us except the Almighty can fix it.

    I thought that I said “WE SHOULD NOT TURN OUR BACKS ON THE PROBLEM”. I meant we all need to do our part because every little bit helps. But you need to have those you are trying to help wanting help.

    My next point was and I think I have been more than clear on this issue and in other posts. I am no supporter of Arthur or the BLP so my opinion on THIS subject is not politically motivated. But I think reasonable and decent people have to consider that if the initiative (whatever that was) which the doctor and the PM launched to reduce the incidents of HIV/AIDS saved a hundred people or even one it did some good.

    Yet what I see is people en masse focusing on and criticizing the initiative and the two people responsible for it, based strictly on what they see as increasing numbers of HIV/AIDS patients without knowing how many people because of the initiative changed their sexual behaviour and has avoided contracting this deadly diasease. There are two sides here on which to measure success. One side that being how many Barbadians did the program get through to who are practicing safe sex? We will never know old boy! The other how many are dying and we do know this!

    My points were just to show you and others that this is not just a YOUNG PERSONS problem. And here is something else to consider. And it is only a thought.

    400 to 500 Chinese workers is in Barbados, plus your Minister of Labour recently suggested he was told that there are 20,000 illegals in Barbados who no one even knows if it is true or who they are. In Addition we have thousands of visitors who visit Barbados annually. How many of them are spreading HIV/AIDS.

    All I am saying is yes we have a problem and an initiative was launched to TRY and address it. But the problem is far more complex than some of the commenters here seem to want to accept. You cannot just blame two people especially if the program as only been in effect for a short time. HIV/AIDS I am afraid Bush tea will take a long time to eradicate if ever. That is ALL I am saying

  31. David,

    Firing Dr. Jacobs and the PM is going to solve the problem of black people having unprotected sex or non-parents having kids? It is not the government’s responsibility nor does it have the capacity to raise children, that’s why we have parents. No amount of “social programs” can substitute for good parents. If kids are growing up in homes with no love, nurturing, morals, or self-respect, there is nothing the PM, Rev Hall, the headmistress or god can do to prevent their destructive behavior because that’s all they know. These non-parents shouldn’t be allowed to have kids in the first place, but Bim isn’t ready for that kind of “radicalism” yet.

  32. Don’t get all worked up degap, and no name, it is all a matter of perspective.

    everyone agrees that this is a VERY SERIOUS, deadly and dangerous problem with the potential to destroy the whole place…. all agreed?

    I am not picking on Dr Jacobs, or the PM personally – I am picking on EVERYONE who takes up the responsibility to LEAD, knowing that they have NO CLUE where to go.

    Let us look at de gaps comment.
    he outlines the dire situation with aids, morals and hopeless parents – and then he says “..but Bim isn’t ready for that kind of ‘radicalism’ yet…’

    Get me?

    We have a RADICAL problem– but we cannot consider RADICAL solutions …
    This is the path to FAILURE.

    like the doctor saying – This patient has cancer and only surgery can save him -but surgery is to RADICAL a measure to consider…

    This is the time for doctors with the knowledge and confidence to do what it takes to save the patient…not for bush tea remedies.

  33. The fact is even if Ghandi and mother Teresa were in-charge of this, the outcome would be the same. I’m no fan of Owen but i think he has enough nails in his coffin as it is, with out this failed aids fight thing. Some of you have said it and I guess I’ll say it again, to “win” a war you have to know your enemy. The problem is the people you are trying to a save are partly causing the situation.

    We know all about AIDS, we hear about it every day, its on radio and the TV even the internet. So we tout the “victims” and the sexually active teenagers. What about the ones who are not active and have no intention of being active (sexually), the ones who make sensible decisions and the ones who are at least careful in their “dealings”. Where does the responsibility fall? I’m not talking about those molested or raped, I’m talking about those who make an active decision to pursue an activity that is an obvious danger to their health. We like to paint the picture of “victims” but no one touches responsibility.

    We brag about “old” morality but girls (and boys) were being raped and abused then (its in our folk-songs for crying out loud), and the society did the exact thing its doing now.. applying labels and blame to those it choses to condemn or favor. You see our society is one of saving face and keeping things quiet (not just in government), every one of us has skeletons that we would prefer buried and forgotten.

    There is a quote I will always love:

    “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that we used when we created them.”
    We did not create AIDS or HIV but we are the ones responsible for where it is today. We blame the doctor and Owen because they are easy to spot, but its harder to point at the one in the mirror. Enough of this victim talk, if a boy is surrounded by thieves his whole life and becomes a thief himself what do we do? we lock him away, we lock him away because his actions broke the law irregardless of his circumstances. We lock him away because he made a conscious decision (klepto just means you get locked away with therapy). Why should we assume that sex erases all rules, sex is too powerful, nothing short of ministerial action can save us!!… ridiculous.

    “Peer pressure”, another mantra. There is peer pressure to violence, pressure to steal, pressure for sex, unless these people are at gun point(metaphorical as well as physical), I think they made a decision to commit their actions. Owen steals, do we blame his father still? Mascoll does junk do we blame his mother? these are people who made their decisions in-spite of the consequences, why is it when STDs are involved the lines are no longer clear.

    If we really wanted to change things we have ways of doing it, you want to stop smoking? ban the sale of cigarettes, it goes illegal lock up the ones you can catch (weed anybody?). If alcohol is a vice ban it, and do the same as above. Already the hairs on the back of your neck stand up at the thought of not having your smokes and booze, we’re adults dammit, we can control ourselves!!

    Unless we change, introduce some radical thought as another writer said, we are doomed.

  34. So we are hearing many of the same old arguments. Don’t blame the PM or Dr. Jacobs, blame the parents. Well here is the deal, there are no damn parents to blame so we elected to blame the two people responsible for setting and executing HIV/AIDS policy in Barbados. Its up to them to blame and hold to account who they feel like. The reality is simply this , it does not matter how well we think they have performed since 2001, the number of infections continue to rise and Barbados is up there as one of the countries with the highest infection rate per thousand.

    Please deal with that people!

  35. David we all know what we need to do to prolong life and health. THIS IS A FACT ON THE PUBLIC RECORD. Doctors, studies etc preach to us almost 24/7.

    However because of our own refusal to make lifestyle changes we are not only dying younger and faster but causing horrific costs to thehealthcare system.

    I think if WE the people have no intention to make lifstyle changes that we ARE TOLD BY THE EXPERTS is the only way to live longer healthier lives. Do you think that if we appointed a body as in the case of the argument here about the PM and the Doctor that we are going to change? I doubt it and that is the problem. How do you get people to listen?

    Most of these affected people believe they are invincible until it happens to them. This is particularly true with the young!

  36. Okay i didnot read all of those comments am sure some made sense. But let me add a couple of things. I had this discussion with my husband the other night and he was not in agreement all the way. We have a society of parents who are struggling to put food and shelter on the table for their kids. They have only just mastered the 1st and 2nd rung of Maslovs heriarcy of needs. They have no knowledge or time to teach the other needs like self actualization, healthy self concept and esteem. So we have a generation of young people who have not been told by someone that matters to them that they are special, and that their bodies are special and that they don’t have to be controlled by them. And further they don;t have to use them to survive. But maybe i am living in a neverneverland thinking like this. A lot a whole bunch of these kids when u talk to them they will tell u that I ahd no one to tell me that my vaginity is a precious thing that should be kept for that special someone (boths males and female). Some might say no one told them and they knew bully for you happy u got it on your own but they are some that need to be told and told and told until they get it.

    But question if mom and dad too busy who will be telling, school, church, leaders? Who maybe if we get this small detail right me may stand a chance.

    Statistics will tell u that kids who are permiscuous and misbehave are usually school drop outs and have difficulty learning. Think about that for a minute and i will come back later with a little more on this.

  37. On the matter of AIDS i have always felt maybe just maybe if the ads that we are putting out there had a real end stage AIDS victim on it with the rotting flesh and yellow tongue. With they complete lack of control over their body functions, open sores ectc with a message that reads; THIS COULD BE YOU. CONDOMIZE!! Maybe just maybe it might place a flicker of fear in the hearts of our young and not so young. But on the ads u see healthy handsome people. tell me what is they to fear??

  38. Isabella believe me AIDS/HIV is impacting wealthy children too.

    But consider this and so far the discussion on this subject(HIV/AIDS) has not even visited this other sexually transmitted disease that is plaguing society with equally devastating results and I avoided bringing it up until now because of your post.

    Young promiscuous women are now contracting Cervical cancer at rates that boggles the mind. It is said by the experts that this cancer is spread by a male infection or venereal type disease. I cannot speak for Barbados but developed Nations of the world is now using a vaccine to combat this other frontal attack on promiscuity.

    If you have young girls I strongly suggest you check it out on the web.

  39. Our education system is failing our young people in a very big way and we need to so something NOW to help our children. Too many children fail needlessly simply because the way in which they learn in incompatble with the ways they are being taught. Schools are filled with children who have given up and feel like losers just because their brains are not in synch with the demands and expectations of the school system.
    Having an insight into the specific nature of the breakdown in learing is critical to creating an appropiate solution or remedy.

    What i am basically saying, many of our children learn some by touch and feel then see and comprehend, others but sight and hearing. They are a number of pathways. The key is figuring out which path and where the breakdown occurs and how to fix it. How many teachers do this? How may have the skills, time or inclination to handle soemthing like this. Remedial classes is not the only solution. More talk and chalk talk and chalk.

    Some kids are creative, artistic, when these skills are tapped into they can open up other paths call neurodevelopment systems that might encourage book learning. Focus on a strength to strengthen a weakness. And equally so for other differently abled children. Not all are or will be scholars, what is the system doing to caters to these kids. (We see so many skilled artist and artisians coming out of Glendary, sorry Harrison”s point oh sorry Dodds prison) they fellows were not tapped at school so they were thought to be fools or slow.

    When will the ministry place a minister who has some educational trainiging in modern teaching methods to head this crutial area of our society the education of our future leaders?

  40. Isabella,
    What you are talking about requires leaders who are wise (can drive).
    The obvious national tool available to deal with shaping morals of the youth MUST BE IN THE SCHOOLS.
    It is pointless talking bout parents, home, church etc.. but some of us will continue to do that anyway.
    We are spending MILLIONS PER YEAR (more than the flyover) on an education system that is more and more of a failure as we spend more and more on it… sounds just like the AIDS problem, the Hospital problem etc??! – the drivers are what we have in common.

    You think someone would look at why this is so?
    could minister WOOD? Hilary BECKLES? The PM?? – they have no licenses…
    of course NOT – they just put more money in…

    You have hit the nail on the head – we need to IMPROVE THE ABILITY OF THE SCHOOL SYSTEM TO PRODUCE DECENT CITIZENS. (not only ‘scholars’) let us see if someone can see how this can be done (for 10% of what we now spend…)

    Oh for some drivers…

  41. Isabella welcome to the real world and what you want though realistic isn’t going to happen anytime soon.

    Are your kids getting tattos because that is the way to go these days. Are they dressing like prostitutes for school because that is their right. Do Teachers have the right to spank your children without being sued or lose their jobs?

    Society and Government has instilled the ways of what a misguided society believes is the way to go and much is enshrined in legal legislation.

    Who is going to change it? Especially when you folk in the Caribbean emulate everything the North American and UK society embraces.

    Children can leave home in North America at the age of consent because they say they are being abused by parents, who are in fact only dishing out normal standards of discipline and can be taken in by half way houses, live on the streets or become prostitutes etc.

    You need to deal with a changing world or you will accomplish nothing but sadness down the road

  42. In my early university days, in a state of intoxication. An elder student spoke the true true words in response to this topic.

    You will change when you get tired of going to funerals. That is why we changed in the 80’s.

  43. What that ‘elder drunk student’ was saying David, is that this world is full of IDIOTS (the bible prefers to call them sheep)
    As you know, any idiot will change his ways after suffering the consequences of his foolishness. (we will even change this Government next year -and the Americans will dump the Republicans too…)
    But it takes a wise man to changes his ways pro actively, based on looking at the situation logically.

    It was obvious that Bush was a joker when he ran against Al Gore, just as it was clear that he “isn’t all there’ at the last elections – But Americans went for the ‘War on terror’

    Last elections it was clear that the BLP had no clue about solving Bajan problems too -but we went for the glitzy PR junk.
    But as I said, the passengers are blind.

    Back to solving the problem though…
    I think that the discussion here has clearly identified that the problem is that we have no leaders with the wisdom and testicular fortitude to take the strong, wise decisions needed to solve the SERIOUS problems we face as a society.

    I will even tell you where the REAL problem started… in the 1970’s with co-education… otherwise known as the UGLI plan to destroy manhood. (Universal Gays and Lesbians Institute – OK!! – i mek dat up)
    This plan was championed by the World Bank and led locally by ministers Tull and Miller at the time.

    Wisdom has always been a problem, but this was the beginning of the end of testicular fortitude in Barbados.
    No more Barrows. Crawfords, Frank Walcotts, Sobers, Adams, etc – you name me two persons at this level of testicular strength under age 55.
    (They got distracted between ages 12-16 and ended up driving ZRs…)

    Someone above quoted Albert Einstein. – what Einstein was saying (in bajan language) is that you cannot expect the same idiots who create a big problem to be the ones to solve it…

    You see anyone out there with the GUTS to save our boys? against the World Bank’s secret agenda and the local blind mice -many in the Ministry of Education, who (poor things) cannot even understand what is happening?

    Like it or lump it – NO MEN means NO leadership. God made it so – not me.

    No leadership means… well see what the bible says about sheep without shepherd.

    ..and No name or no brain or whatever you call yourself – this is a serious discussion – do us a favour and stop your junk about how things can never change and the lotta bull… I want to hear Isabella..

  44. Alcoholics are still with us and are now killing on the road with cars. This problem is still waiting to be fixed in all countries of the world we now have added to it drug use, teefing and killing has been with us for decades and we are still awaiting solutions. Open your eyes and your mind!

    Yes discipline, training of children from a young age and teaching them right from wrong is all part of the problem. That I have never denied but the problems of promiscuity, diseases etc are all over the world it is not isolated to Barbados. And if you think by changing leaders it is going away then you are more foolish than your rants suggest. Nations all over the world change leaders but how is that going to eradicate contagious diseases.

    I have wasted enough time on this subject believe what you will it is a free country.

  45. David my response to Iasbella yesterday brought up another very important medical issue involving promiscuity and young women having several sexual encounters with different partners.

    I think that parents of young ladies at an age vulnerable in experimenting with sex should be very vigilant. And regrettably many of the young ladies being impacted are at the age of consent where parents have no legal control over their personal lives.

    Though what I am speaking about may not at this stage be as deadly as the HIV/AIDS disease IF CAUGHT EARLY it is still spreading very quickly. And I suggest parents educate themselves about it. I am talking about the spread of Cervical cancer in young promiscuous women that is being caused directly by their prosmiscuity and being infected by one or more of their many partners. It has become a major problem in North America and here is why.

    Many young women will not or do not get timely pap smears which themselves have recently come in for serious question as far as reliability of tests are concerned. It is now being advocated that Pap smears be replaced with DNA testing or a combination of both. This can be researched by parents on bringing up the Mayo Clinic Website, or the prestigeous Brigham Womens Hospital I think is the correct name. I am no expert I merely keep myself informed!

    However parents need to pay attention because knowledge allows you to know what you are dealing with and your options for preventing it or treating it. We are living in a complicated and ever changing world we need to deal with it by facing reality.

    What has to be encouraged is that young women get annual physicals and pap smears or as is being suggested now DNA testing because it shows up the cervical cancer early and it is treated and cleared up with an in-office visit at the OBY?GYN. It is a cauderization process. No Chemo or such therapy is required. However, if PAP smears or now DNA testing is not done annually and the cerivcal cancer is advanced the game is over in many ways. Death can be the ultimate price but a hysterectomy is a given and even if the young lady survives she lives a childless life.

    Fortunately and I am sure the same is true in Barbados sexually active young women or most are on the pill and to get the pill respectable and responsible family doctors demand their patients get an annual and a pap smear.

    We have to look at all of these situations in a clear and realistic way because as soon as we find a solution for one thing another surfaces.

    In the case of these instances of cervical cancer there is a vaccine that young women can receive to protect them and it is on the market now, albeit the debate of the pros and cons of it are still being hotly contested by the medical and other professions.

    For what it is worth!

  46. However because of our own refusal to make lifestyle changes we are not only dying younger and faster but causing horrific costs to thehealthcare system.

    I think if WE the people have no intention to make lifstyle changes that we ARE TOLD BY THE EXPERTS is the only way to live longer healthier lives. Do you think that if we appointed a body as in the case of the argument here about the PM and the Doctor that we are going to change? I doubt it and that is the problem. How do you get people to listen?

    Well said no name

  47. Another point that might be of interest to your male readers is information I was given at my last physical by my MD.

    There is now a new test that males can get to determine if they have prostate cancer that is indicated by a rising PSA test that is non invasive. It costs $2000 Canadian. There is still only a few facilities and machines available but more are coming on line quickly. I think there are two in Canada and some in different parts of the USA.

    The test is done like a cat scan there is a name for it but I forget but the machine doing it has the ability to measure a certain chemical component that is present if you have prostate cancer. I am told it is 99.9% reliable. It is still new.

    However when compared to having a biopsy of the prostate done with all of its inherent after effects, like impotency, incontinence and others I think this new non invasive procedure is worth checking out. Because though a PSA test is helpful in determining if you might have prostate cancer it is highly unreliable and I think only 30% of biopsies recommendeded because of a high PSA test come back positive.

  48. Mosquito,
    why you don’t go back to defending the flyovers with your dengue logic? if a parent find that his children will not listen to his instructions he should just throw up his hands and say ‘well I can’t do no more…” Was that your parent’s approach (that would explain a lot…)

    my insect friend, a good parent (or leader) would find some way to get through to that child FOR THEIR OWN GOOD. either by extra attention, getting expert help, or licks as a last resort – if he really love that child…(as Adrian Hinds pointed out before)

    If you and NO Name don’t know how to solve the problem either, wanna in good company with the PM and the DOC, why assume that your not knowing means that there is no solution?

  49. If you have the solution to HIV/AIDS and how to stop people having unprotected sex do tell everyone. Dont hide your light under a bush along with the tea.
    I trust that you are doing your bit going into schools telling the teachers that the buck stops with them that its all their fault for not producing decent citizens.
    Course its much easier to preach than teach isnt it?

  50. Good Mosquito, we are making progress. (despite your getting personal – I never said that I knew the answer…or that I didn’t…)

    You don’t know what I do, so let’s leave that jab aside for now…. I ducking under it!!

    You seem to be now accepting that, even if we don’t know, someone, somewhere might have a solution.

    This is a MUCH better approach than preaching gloom and doom and ‘all is lost’. (see if you can talk to No Name – i give up)

    This way, we will be open to new ideas in the hope that the solution may be right there…

    btw, do you know that there are societies where HIV is not a serious problem? What do they do differently?

    Are you aware that in some societies the politicians don’t steal at all?… and they manage the peoples’ business very efficiently? What is different in those places?

    I feel we could work out this puzzle Mos…

  51. I thought you were in the bussiness of generating hot air Bush Tea!

    You are right there are countries where they (say) they dont have an HIV/AIDS problem.
    These are the same countries where they hang homosexuals.In these countries people also allegedly dont steal at all either. Probably because a sector of the population have their right hands lopped off every week or so.Are you proposing this as a solution?

  52. Why are you so focused on what i generate; what i am proposing; what i am doing in the schools…can’t we have a simple debate of IDEAS?

    OK you say that some countries have little crime because ‘a section of the population have their right hands lopped off every week…’
    This sound quite terrible, and obviously we would not want that here. But let us check out some FACTS…
    have you ever been to one of these countries?

    In a typical one of these countries (population 10 million) how many hands are lopped per year?

    Suppose the answer was less that 3, and we compared a similar country (like ours) of population 1/4 million where we have an average of 4 murders of innocent victims of crime, 20 victims seriously injured and the whole community terrorized by a relative few criminals.

    Where would you live (assuming you were an honest citizen)?

    There are countries which hang those caught with drugs too. When last was someone hung?

    Maybe these penalties reflect a serious NATIONAL abhorrence of these activities and a SERIOUS message that they will NOT be tolerated.

    maybe that is national leadership…

    what you think?

  53. Bush Tea

    These are countries that do not have the luxury of democracy. These are countries that have hereditary despots as leaders whose goverment is by unqualified relatives. These are countries where the leaders live a licentious lifestyle yet penalise their subjects for any misdemeanour.These are countries where woman, gays and anyone who opens their mouths have no rights at all.BU would not last two days.In these countries people are hung and maimed on a weekly basis. Is that what you call national leadership? It is what the rest of the thinking world calls opression.Is that what you want for Barbados?

  54. emotional ‘quito… take it easy skip… and try to leave me out of it. i am just a little joker who like thinking out of the box….

    Ok first let’s look at ‘the luxury of democracy’. You mean like ours? or the USA? Why you think that everyone else but you and ABC upset with the flyover scheme? that project was so open and democratic wasn’t it?
    You think BU esists ” BECAUSE of our democracy? ” If David is a man let him give his real name – by tomorrow he would be charged with all sorts of things and searched all over his… ok left out dat.

    Barbados has experienced more VINDICTIVE behaviour than many of your so-called despot countries…. ask the juman girl. You ever heard ’bout Tom?
    Don’t be misled by the western media hype…

    The POINT IS that democracy can be JUST AS BAD as a BAD DICTATOR…. so we agree that we need good LEADERSHIP. The challenge is to ensure that the ‘good’ is sustainable.

    This requires a national SYSTEM to monitor, supervise and if needed, CONTROL the leaders -be they democrat or dictator.

    Actually, a system that I like exist in the CREDIT UNION where they have a board of directors who run things – just like the Government does. BUT the general members ALSO elect a SUPERVISORY committee with powers to monitor the boards behaviors and to take appropriate action as needed when the Board strays…

    Why can’t the electorate – at election time, elect such a body of persons to have similar ‘supervisory’ powers over all government activities?
    This is what a meaningful senate should be….

    where do you disagree?

  55. The Aids rate in the caribbean islands (except haiti) is less than 2% so it would be great if Barbados stopped scaring the damn tourists by calling it a high aids rate, i saw a few ad’s that mentioned the “high aids rate” you like to censor your talk shows, when this is what you should censor.

    Secondly and to the meat of the matter, there are many causes to the problem and to put it simply you need more public campaigns promoting safe sex. I’ve been in Barbados as a student so dont think im speaking without any experience in your island. It has made a noticable change in Jamaica and it can for you. Someone in the comments above asked about putting condom machines in school. I say put them in school, in jail, in church, and every wall you can find. With a combination of a good pr program and easy access to condoms people will use them more and more. And dont knock church, the first time i got into a girls panties was after chuch when everyone left.

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