Panel discussion moderated by Eno, left with Hamed, Maruso and Taib
Panel discussion moderated by Eno Ekan -Essien, left, with Ahmed, Maruso and Taib                                        Photo copyright: Black Ottawa Scene

Friday 1 December

Under the banner: “It takes courage”, Somerset West Community Health Centre welcomed about forty people from Ottawa’s African, Caribbean and Black communities to its annual forum, commemorating World AIDS Day. Following on the heels of an earlier event in which scores of people from the community marched on Parliament Hill to remind Canadians of the plight of hundreds of people afflicted by , or at risk of  HIV/AIDS. The forum featured a panel of three speakers who described their involvement in various HIV/AIDS initiatives, programs and projects. A video presentation was also part of the event. The goal was to sensitize the community on the risks, provide information on treatment and support, and explore strategies for removing barriers, the stigma and the shame that often affects people living with the disease, through education and public awareness.

All photos copyright Black Ottawa Scene