Free HIV testing offered

Free HIV testing will be offered at several locations across the Cayman Islands from June 20 to 25, 2016.

The tests will be offered at all district health centers in Grand Cayman, Faith Hospital on Cayman Brac, the public health clinic in Little Cayman and at other locations across the islands.

The initiative is part of HIV Testing week, coordinated by The Cayman Islands Health Services Authority, the Cayman AIDS Foundation and the Cayman Islands Red Cross.

The week is in support of the Regional HIV Testing Day in collaboration with the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS, the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership, and the regional franchise of Scotiabank in the Caribbean. Scotiabank Cayman is also supporting the week.

“Regional Testing Day has become a permanent fixture on the calendar of Caribbean countries for the past nine years and has expanded to 21 territories, providing an opportunity for persons to ‘know their status,’” said Therese Prehay, HSA health promotion officer in a press release.

Cayman’s HIV Testing week will focus on promoting heightened awareness of the prevention and spread of HIV, and inform the public on the elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV and congenital syphilis in the Cayman Islands.

“The overarching objective of this annual regional initiative is to heighten public awareness on the critical importance of voluntary counseling and testing in preventing the transmission of HIV infection and to encourage persons to get tested,” said HSA HIV coordinator nurse Laura Elniski said in the press release.

No appointment is necessary to be tested during the week and the waiting time for testing is usually no more than 10 minutes. The testing procedure involves a quick and simple blood test and results are available within three working days.

Test results are given only to the patient, in person. No results are given over the phone, in order to protect the privacy of the individual and to offer counseling, if necessary.

To make an appointment for testing contact the Public Health Clinic at 244-2648, the George Town General Practice Clinic at 244-2800 or 244-2507, the Cayman Islands Red Cross at 916-1742 or any district health center.