Students from Saba University School of Medicine (SUSOM) supported Body, Mind and Spirit Foundation (BMSF) by distributing condoms throughout Carnival 2013. The Daily Herald wrote that each evening, groups of volunteers participated in the various shows and parades handing out beads with condoms to revellers. They also provided goodie- bags with condoms, lubricants and information with free music-download codes. The volunteers also handed out plain colourful beads to children. Each year, the foundation makes these prevention efforts against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), which are to lead to a change in attitude towards the use of condoms, and to a reduction in STI cases, as well as to what is locally being referred to as “Carnival children.” BMSF also installed condom vending machines in the restrooms at Carnival Village in The Bottom, using humorous posters to promote condom use and create awareness about sexually-transmitted diseases. Unlike past years, during which the foundation organized a float in each parade and even sponsored the official Carnival T-shirts, the new Carnival organizers did not permit BMSF’s participation in the parade.
Two decades ago, the organization started out as a specific epidemic-related agency tasked by local government to create community awareness and outreach. Management now seeks to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV. It is looking into widening its spectrum of STI prevention efforts, as well as having a broader reach and impact on the overall wellbeing of the population. During the last two months, BMSF, in collaboration with SUSOM, stepped up its public health awareness campaign and aired a series of health documentaries on local television. “Hungry for Change,” for instance, dealt with nutrition and “The Weight of the Nation” addressed obesity. Before and during Carnival, BMSF also aired some documentaries about HIV. BMSF is also actively looking into possibilities to deliver public-health related messages via the radio, in addition to social media.