The Barbados Defence Force (BDF) formally established its HIV Education Programme in 2002 with the aim of sensitising its members about HIV and AIDS, whilst promoting the maintenance of a healthy work environment through the protection of the well-being and physical and emotional health of all its members.
Knowing that the workplace is a strategic environment for HIV/AIDS prevention and care education, the BDF HIV Committee has been unrelenting in its drive to coordinate innovative activities that focus on:
- Halting the transmission of HIV.
- Preventing the sexual transmission of HIV through behavioural change.
- Promoting healthy living through activities that help to develop a sense of camaraderie amongst BDF employees.
Some of the key accomplishments of the BDF HIV Programme are:
- Implementing the BDF HIV Policy in 2006
- Creating the BDF HIV Programme logo in 2008.
- Coordinating the first Regional Military/Civilian HIV Conference in 2006
- Conducting annual Peer Education and Counselling seminars.
- Spearheading community sensitisation campaigns through the placement of HIV prevention messages on benches, banners and billboards in high traffic areas around BDF bases.
- Coordinating the production of the HIV/AIDS awareness theatrical play “It’s Up To Me” in 2009 (written by Carla Springer of Sayge Theatre Productions and produced by Acute Vision Incorporated).
- Expanding the BDF HIV/AIDS awareness programme model to include other organisations such as the Barbados Cadet Corps and the Royal Barbados Police Force.
- Conducting food bank drives for persons living with or impacted by HIV.