HIV Testing Week begins

The Health Services Authority and the Cayman AIDS Foundation have joined forces in organizing National HIV Testing Week starting today.

‘HIV counselling and testing enables people with HIV to take steps to protect their own health and that of their partners. It also helps people who test negative to get the information they need to stay uninfected,’ said Medical Officer of Health, Dr Kiran Kumar.

National HIV Testing Week activities in the Cayman Islands are aimed at promoting heightened awareness of HIV prevention through the mass media, poster displays and the offer of free HIV testing and voluntary counselling across the Islands, states a press release.

The Health Services Authority and the Cayman AIDS Foundation are reminding the public that awareness about HIV is in the interest of all.

In the early 80s it was commonly believed that AIDS was primarily a gay disease.

As a result, many people assumed that they would not become HIV positive, but retrospective medical cases confirmed that this was not true.

‘Knowing your HIV status is important in the fight against AIDS. Persons who know they are infected can benefit from advances in medical care that can prolong their lives and they can also take action to prevent transmission to others’ explained HSA AIDS Programme Coordinator Mrs. Pauline Ffrench.

The start of the week in the Cayman Islands precedes the United States’ National HIV Testing Day on June 27.

National HIV Testing Day in the United States is an annual campaign produced by the association of people living with HIV/ AIDS there to encourage individuals at risk to access voluntary counselling and testing.

For more information about National HIV Testing Week, contact Mrs. Ffrench at 244-2631, email: [email protected] or Mrs. Therese Prehay, Health Promotion officer, phone 244-2632, email [email protected].

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