From Rosemay Ruddy, executive director, ACET.
I WRITE to thank the large number of people who have shown their support and concern for people living with HIV in Jersey, following Edward Trevor’s misguided opinions expressed in the media.
‘Never judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes’ is an old saying attributed to the North American Indians. It is a maxim we constantly strive to live by and promote in all our HIV care, education and training services at ACET.
It has, therefore, been heart-warming to hear messages of support from so many people from all walks of life in the Island and I hope their expressions of shock and condemnation will be of some consolation to those who have been directly affected by such prejudiced and stigmatising statements.
For those diagnosed early, HIV is no longer a death sentence. There is still no cure, but the disease can be controlled and managed with treatment.
We now have more than 20 anti-retroviral drugs available to treat people living with the virus and, although treatment may include serious side-effects, people living with HIV can now look forward to living much longer and healthier lives.
I would like to encourage anyone who feels that they need to update their knowledge of HIV, including its prevention and treatment, to visit our website at www.acet.je where they can find a wealth of information, together with a brand new series of educational videos which have been developed and launched for World Aids Day by our partners, Standard Chartered Bank.
Finally, can I urge Islanders not to withhold their donations to the Joint Christmas Appeal as a result of this unfortunate incident. ACET Jersey would not wish see any needy person deprived of much needed practical support as a result of one man’s actions.