HSA offers free screening for World AIDS Day

| 28/11/2016 | 0 Comments

CNS Local Life(CNS Local Life): As part of activities to commemorate World AIDS Day, held annually on 1 December, the Health Services Authority’s (HSA) Public Health Department, the Cayman AIDS Foundation and the Red Cross have partnered to organise six days of free HIV and AIDS testing from today, 28 November, to 3 December. Pre- and post-counselling will also be offered.

World AIDS Day, first observed in 1988, has served to raise awareness about the epidemic, commemorate those who have died, focus attention on issues that are key to a successful response, inspire positive action and celebrate victories such as increased access to treatment and prevention services.

Special arrangements have been implemented to facilitate speed and confidentiality for HIV testing during the week’s observance. No appointment is necessary during this week, and the waiting time for testing should be no more than 10 minutes.

People seeking testing or counselling need to indicate to the registration clerks that they would like to register for free HIV screening. The results, which will be available in three working days, will be given to the patient only, who must return to the clinic where the test was taken to retrieve the results.

The theme for this year’s commemoration, which marks the 28th anniversary of World AIDS Day, is “leadership, commitment, impact”. Global health officials are calling on country leaders to stay committed by working on the promises that have been made in the fight against HIV and AIDS; encouraging leadership of its advocates as they carry out their work by standing up and speaking out against discrimination of HIV and AIDS; helping to change the trajectory of the HIV and AIDS epidemic in light of the impact it can have on the world, in reaching the United Nations target of zero new HIV infections and zero discrimination by 2020 . As at the end of 2015, a total of 36.7 million people were living with HIV and AIDS globally with similarities and differences among regions, countries, provinces and communities.

There are several ways to avoid or reduce the chances of being exposed:

  • Being faithful with a partner who is also faithful; or
  • Abstinence; or
  • Always using protection (condoms) in sexual encounters.
  • Avoid the use of illicit intravenous drugs

The Public Health Department also offers free HIV screening year round each Tuesday at 10am at the Cayman Islands Red Cross.

For more information, call (244-2507) or email HIV and AIDS coordinator Laura Elniski, or call (244-2632) or email health promotion officer Therese Prehay

For a full schedule and list of free HIV testing sites, go to the HSA website

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Category: Medical and Health

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