St. Kitts-Nevis Heightens Commitment to HIV Testing

National AIDS Programme Coordinator Gardenia Destang-Richardson

Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 14, 2012 (SKNIS): The National AIDS Secretariat in St. Kitts and Nevis is partnering with Scotia Bank to mark the 5th year anniversary of the Regional HIV Testing Day in the Caribbean on June 29, 2012.

On that day, Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) will be conducted at temporary stations at Prince’s Street, Basseterre from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and in Charlestown at the Administration Building parking lot (across from Best Buy Supermarket) from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Juletta Fyfield, Health Educator at the Ministry of Health explained that in addition to free HIV counseling and testing with same day results, persons will be able to access free condoms and demonstrations of how they should be used.

In 2011, 280 persons were tested in St. Kitts and 103 in Nevis. National AIDS Programme Coordinator Gardenia Destang-Richardson told SKNIS that it was important for residents to make use of the free VCT service which informs persons of their HIV status – critical information that guides life decisions. She reminded that all results are strictly confidential.

The Regional HIV Testing Day Initiative was started in 2008 by the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV/AIDS (CBMP) in collaboration with the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV/AIDS (PANCAP) and Scotiabank.

According to official documents “the overarching objective of this special initiative is to heighten public awareness on the critical importance of voluntary counseling and testing in preventing the spread of the HIV infection and to mobilize the population in general to be tested.”

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