Free HIV screening to mark World AIDS Day

To mark World AIDS Day next week, free HIV screenings will be available throughout the Islands in the coming days.

The Health Services Authority’s free screenings begin on Saturday, 26 November and will continue until Friday, 2 December. No appointment is necessary at the screenings on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac and waiting times area usually less than 10 minutes.

The free testing and counselling will be available from 9am to 2pm at Cost You Less on Saturday, 26 November; at West Bay Clinic, Bodden Town Clinic, and the Public Health Clinic and Faith Hospital on Cayman Brac from Monday, 28 November to Friday, 2 December; at North Side Clinic on Tuesday, 29 November and Friday, 2 December; and East End Clinic on Monday, 28 November and Thursday, 1 December.

On Little Cayman, tests will be done at the Health Centre, but by prior arrangement only. Residents must call 948-0072 to make an appointment.
Thursday, 1 December, is the 22nd anniversary of World AIDS Day, which raises awareness about the epidemic, honours those who have died from the disease, and inspire positive action.

With about 33.3 million people around the world currently living with HIV/AIDS, World AIDS Day has become one of the most recognised international health days.
The theme of this year’s World AIDS Day is “Zero New Cases, Zero AIDS-related Deaths and Zero in Stigma and Discrimination”.

The first case of HIV was reported in Cayman 26 years ago. Since then, 98 people have contracted the virus, and 35 have died. According to Cayman’s Public Health Department, as of mid-2011, 53 people are living with AIDS or HIV in the Cayman Islands. Ten others have left Cayman, temporarily or permanently.

To observe this year’s World AIDS Day, the Cayman AIDS Foundation is inviting members of the public to join in the festivities from 10am to 3.30pm on Thursday, 1 December, on Cardinal Avenue in central George Town. There will be local foods on sale and steel pan music, as well as a Cayman AIDS Foundation booth where people can get information about HIV and AIDS.

At 5pm, a parade will commence at the grounds of the Cayman Islands Red Cross on Huldah Avenue and will end at Heroes Square. Those who are unable to walk the full distance can join the parade from the Glass House, the former Government Administration Building.

The World AIDS Day ceremony will be held at Heroes Square immediately after the parade.

The Cayman AIDS Foundation is a non-profit organisation established to improve the quality of life for people infected and affected by HIV and AIDS, by educating people about HIV and AIDS, safe practices, promoting regular HIV testing, preventing discrimination against people who are infected, and providing support for persons living with HIV and AIDS.

For more information on CAF or World AIDS Day initiatives, email [email protected] 

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