Free HIV screenings are being carried out throughout the Cayman Islands as part of World AIDS Day efforts to combat the disease.
World AIDS Day is held on 1 December, and the Red Cross launch for local events in Cayman was held on Tuesday evening, 27 November, at Karoo in Camana Bay.
On Friday, 30 November, the Cayman AIDS Foundation will host the 10th annual World AIDS Day celebration in the Cayman Islands, holding a procession and ceremony in downtown George Town. The procession will start at the cricket oval and continue to Heroes Square where a candlelight ceremony will be held. Police will close off Edward Street in George Town from 4pm to 7.30pm to accommodate the event.
Throughout the coming week, the Health Services Authority will be offering HIV screenings in locations in Grand Cayman and the Sister Islands.
On Saturday, 1 December, there will be testing and information booths at Cost U Less from 10am to 2pm; and from Monday to Friday, 3-7 December, from 9am to 1pm, testing will be done at the George Town General Practice Clinic, Faith Hospital in Cayman Brac, West Bay Health Centre, East End Health Centre and North Side Health Centre. Free testing will also be available on request from Monday to Friday next week at the Little Cayman Clinic.
Free and confidential HIV testing will also be done at the Cayman AIDS Foundation office at 22 Caymanian Village in George Town from 5pm to 7pm on Tuesday, 4 December and from 3pm to 5pm on Thursday, 6 December, Testing will also be available at the Cayman Islands Red Cross Building in George Town from 5pm to 7pm on Wednesday, 5 December.
Since 1988, World AIDS Day is held annually on 1 December to provide an opportunity for people worldwide to unite against HIV, show support for those living with HIV and commemorate those who have lost their battle with AIDS-related illnesses.
Cayman AIDS Foundation is continuing with the United Nations’ 2011-2015 theme of “Getting to Zero”, which encompasses zero new cases, zero AIDS-related deaths and zero stigma and discrimination.
The foundation joined forces with the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority and Red Cross to have a greater impact on the services being offered to people living in the Cayman Islands and to build up a greater presence in the Cayman Island’s community to bring more awareness and education on HIV and AIDS.
Everyone is invited to the procession that commences at 5pm at the cricket oval beside the airport runway and walk to Heroes Square, where there will be a celebration with local artists, bands and tributes to remember of those who lost their battle with AIDS.
Participants will include the Cayman Islands Cadet Corp, Boys Scouts, Girls Brigade, the Fire Department, Michael Lamay’s Steel Pan Band Group and other volunteers.