Free HIV testing

The
Cayman Islands Health Services Authority and Cayman AIDS Foundation are
offering free HIV testing Monday to mark HIV Testing Day.

Minister
for Health Mark Scotland urged members of the public to get tested.

“While
the Cayman Islands has a low incidence rate, we cannot discount the fact that
the Caribbean as a whole has the second highest rate of HIV/AIDS sufferers in
the world.

“Furthermore,
early diagnosis and treatment can prolong and improve the lives of persons
living with HIV and AIDS and therefore we all have to take it as a personal
responsibility to get tested regularly,” he said.

Health
Services Authority’s HIV/AIDS Coordinator Valerie Noble Myrie said: “If you
know your HIV status, you can take the necessary steps to increase your chances
of remaining healthy.”

The
free HIV testing will be available on Monday, 28 June, from 9am to 1pm at all
district health centres on Grand Cayman, Faith Hospital on Cayman Brac and the
Little Cayman Public Health Clinic.

The
confidential test involves taking a quick and simple blood sample from a
person’s arm. No appointment is necessary and the waiting time for testing is
usually no more than ten minutes, organisers said.

People
seeking testing or counselling should indicate to the registration clerks that
they would like to register for free HIV screening.

The
results will be available in three working days and will be given to the
patient only. Patients must return to the clinic where the test was taken to
get the results.

The
HIV test looks for antibodies in a person’s blood.  When HIV (which is a virus) enters a person’s
body, special chemicals are produced. 
These are called antibodies. 
Antibodies are the body’s response to an infection.

For
more information about HIV Testing Day, contact AIDS Programme Coordinator
Valerie Noble Myrie at 244-2631, or [email protected] or Health
Promotion Officer Therese Prehay at 244-2632 or [email protected]

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