Free HIV testing next week; World AIDS Day observed

Free HIV testing is available to residents of the Cayman Islands beginning Monday, Nov. 25. 

As part of this year’s local World AIDS Day activities, the Cayman Islands Health Services Authority is offering free HIV testing and counseling from Monday through to Friday, Nov. 29. 

Free testing will be available at the George Town General Practice, West Bay Clinic, North Side Clinic, East End Clinic and Faith Hospital in Cayman Brac from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  

For Little Cayman Clinic, clients are asked to call 948-0072 to schedule an appointment between Monday and Friday. 


World AIDS Day 

Sunday, Dec. 1, marks the 24th anniversary of World AIDS Day, which raises awareness about the epidemic, honors those who have died, focuses attention on issues that are key to a successful response and inspires positive action. 

Some 35.3 million people around the world are currently living with HIV/AIDS. The theme for World AIDS Day 2013 is “Getting to Zero.” After more than three decades in the global fight against HIV/AIDS, this year the global community has again committed to focusing on the three targets: Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths. HIV has claimed more than 36 million lives so far. 

According to the Health Services Authority, the testing procedure involves a quick and simple blood test. 


No appointment necessary 

No appointment is necessary, and the waiting time for testing is usually no more than 10 minutes. Anyone seeking counseling and testing will need to indicate to the registration clerk that they would like to register for the free HIV testing. Results will be available in three working days. These will be given only to the patient, who must return to the clinic where the test was taken to get the results.  

Free testing and counseling, as well as educational booths, have also been organized at other locations as a joint initiative between the Health Services Authority, the Cayman AIDS Foundation and the Cayman Islands Red Cross. 

These include an informational booth at the University College of the Cayman Islands on Monday and Tuesday from 12:30 to 2 p.m.; free testing and counseling at UCCI on Monday from 2-4 p.m.; at the Cayman AIDS Foundation office on Tuesday and Thursday from 5-7 p.m.; at the Cayman Islands Red Cross Building on Wednesday from 5-7 p.m.; and at Cost U Less on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

For more information about HIV testing week, contact Therese Prehay, health promotion officer, on 244-2632.