(ZIZ News) — Approximately 200 persons took the opportunity to know their HIV status on Friday as the Health Promotion Unit hosted screenings as part of Regional Testing Day.
National AIDS Programme Coordinator, Gardenia Destang Richardson told ZIZ news that the turnout and the feedback to the new way of testing were positive.
She said, “Today has been fantastic. The numbers have been coming. We have had a steady flow of persons from the time we opened at 9 in the morning up until now. Right now we are just under 200 which is a significant number bearing in mind that we are now doing the finger prick where everybody gets to spend to spend that time with their counsellor and everything happens in one place.”
“In the past we would have the counselling and then we would move over to the lab area but this is not the case. Every counsellor is now proficient and able to provide you with the HIV test. It was really a good turnout today to see this number with this new procedure that we are now doing,” she added.
Destang Richardson also spoke of the importance of Regional Testing Day.
“Regional Testing Day is an important day for Scotia Bank. It’s an important day for the Caribbean Broadcasting Media Partnership. It’s also an important day for the National AIDS Programme because in St. Kitts and Nevis its Music Festival, its lots of activities happening. You have lots of people around and you just want to give them the opportunity to have a convenient confidential way of having their HIV status known. So it’s a really important thing for us to contribute to reducing HIV not just in St. Kitts but in the whole region and hopefully soon the whole Caribbean,” she explained.
Regional Testing Day falls under the banner of the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV with the assistance of Scotia Bank and the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV/AIDS.
The theme for this year’s campaign is “Are You Positive You Are Negative?”