CASTRIES, St Lucia, Friday February 4, 2011 – Joan Didier is considered a foremost expert on marginalized populations. She works extensively with groups such as men who have sex with men (MSMs) in St. Lucia, advocating on their behalf and fighting to get what she says is their basic human right to “live and love as they want” without fear of retribution or jail.
Didier is a founding member of the AIDS Action Foundation (AAD) and she continues to be its Director. AAD is a non-profit organization, formed following a meeting in Barbados in 2000 to discuss the regional fight against HIV/AIDS. A lab technician by profession it was Didier’s desire to stave off a disease she described as a “ticking time bomb”, that first influenced her to investigate and safeguard marginalized groups like MSMs from contracting it.
She wants education to play a leading role in that regard.
“There needs to be an education program that speaks to human rights,” Didier says. “Sometimes we can change attitudes without changing laws or we can change attitudes even before we change the laws.”
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