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official title is national AIDS Clinical Care Co- “I said to my wife, this is going to be bigger
ordinator. than the 1917 Spanish flu and the 12
th
century He remembers a turning point one night after
Black Plague,” he recalls. “I started following the he told the nation that Antigua was the only
While he says he never gets tired of preaching
disease, even though no one in the Caribbean country in the region where HIV was primarily
the message of awareness, Sir Prince could easily
had it at that time. There were fewer than 1,000 being spread through prostitution. That got
have been preaching the Gospel instead. He was
infected people recorded in the world.” the government’s attention. Sir VC Bird, then
already sailing in that direction when a summer
prime minister, invited the physician to make a
spent working at a hospital in Oxford, England Like a proverbial John The Baptist, he began
presentation to the Cabinet.
recharted his course. talking HIV/AIDS to anyone who would listen.
This included listeners to Bobby Reis’ popular The “Doc’s” vigilance kept pace with the
Over 30 years later, he’s lectured to more
80’s radio programme, Talk to Me. “I was on epidemic’s spread, and he began counselling
schools, churches and media houses than he
his programme once a week, or sometimes more nurses against unsafe practices which included
can count, been honoured by the Ministry of
than once a week talking about this disease, and delivering babies without gloves or masks.
Health, UNICEF, and the Caribbean Family
people were thinking I was crazy,” Sir Prince
Planning Affiliation and recorded a score of
recalls. “Even some of my medical colleagues
His work with the Caribbean Family
achievements, among them three national
thought I’d gone out of my head, showing so
Planning Affiliation and as a board member
awards, and more recently, an appointment to
much interest in a disease that didn’t exist in the
of the International Planned Parenthood
the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of
Caribbean.”
Federation took him throughout the region
St John of Jerusalem by Her Majesty Queen discussing what he believed
Elizabeth.
“I never get tired.
was an impending health crisis.
Many felt he was just crying
HIV/AIDS has been under his radar long
wolf.
before the disease took hold of the region. The
physician’s interest has always been piqued by
family planning, fertility management and
That is my role.”
Sir Prince treated his first
AIDS patients in Antigua in
sexually transmitted infections, and once he 1986, and recently appeared on
learned about this new “homosexual” disease
With over 33 million people now affected
television with this man to mark World AIDS
discovered in the US in the 80’s, he recognised
globally, and 17,000 new cases of HIV
Day. The patient’s longevity (he has been living
its wide-reaching potential.
diagnosed in the Caribbean last year alone, his
with the disease for 25 years) is testament to
concerns were obviously founded.
the satisfaction Sir Prince derives from treating
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