HIV And Tourism: Can One Impact The Other?

pexels-anna-shvets-3900469Human interaction for the tourism sector plays an integral role in its sustenance. The people of Jamaica are known to be illustrious, warm and inviting. This is certainly one of the reasons why we have a high repeat visitor statistic of 42%, and despite the downfalls caused by COVID-19, visitors still visit  our shores to a safe but satisfying Jamaican stay.

We believe that this human resource is vital to the longevity of the sector, and we ensure that we play our part to maintain an uplifted and progressive group of workers. Over the past few years, many policies have been created to ensure that tourism sub-sectors are kept informed and motivated.

It is with this belief that a special unit was created for HIV information. Due to the highly interactive nature of the people, some might form romantic relationships with islanders and natives with visitors. For this reason, the need for information on sexual health and risks of sexually transmitted diseases became a necessary part of our conversation.

In recognition of the annual World Aids day celebrations, TPDCo lent it’s support to the global conversation about HIV and Aids. This year, under the theme “Global Solidarity: Shared Responsibility” information was shared online and at various training sessions on the importance of having the sex conversation, transactional sex, and how to safely and effectively use protection.

In addition, and similar to how information is shared about the current pandemic and the risks associated with contracting the virus, for many years, the training team, has included information and resources about HIV and aids and how it can impact the human resource of the tourism sector. The disease, although treatable can adversely affect an individual, based on their current health and access to treatment. In a bid to avoid the possibilities of illness, thereby impacting one’s livelihood, the training department focused their sessions on a key theme – prevention.

The popular saying of “prevention is better than cure” is the stance on which the team continues to deliver presentations to various entities across the island. The sector relies on having a healthy workforce and values its people and their health. Therefore, learning about the risks and preventing them has continued to be an effective way of heralding information about HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. Let us  unite as we strive to change the narrative to positive talks about sex and sexual health.

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