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Free HIV tests offered island-wide to mark World AIDS Day

Health Care 29 Nov, 2023 Follow News

From left to right: Noel Cayasso, Chief Executive Officer & AIDS Programme Coordinator, Dr Shreya Nauhria, Child Protection Manager, Red Cross and Dr. Samuel Williams-Rodriguez, Director of Primary Health Care / Acting Medical Officer of Health.

The Health Services Authority (HSA), Cayman AIDS Foundation, and the Cayman Islands Red Cross will again join forces in coordinating various public, free-of-charge activities and satellite events for 5 days, from 27th November to 1 December, to mark World AIDS Day. The campaign focuses on a community-led HIV national response among the partners on the Path to End AIDS and aligns with the theme “Let Communities Lead”.

As part of the partnership initiative, special arrangements have been implemented to ensure speed and confidentiality for HIV testing activities during the week’s observance. No appointment is necessary during this week, and the waiting time for testing is usually less than ten minutes.

Persons seeking testing or counseling may indicate to the registration clerks that they would like to register for free HIV testing. The procedure involves a quick and simple blood test.

The results will be available within three working days or less and given to the patient in person only at the clinic where they took the test. This is to protect the individual’s confidentiality and offer post-test counseling.

There are several ways to avoid or reduce the chances of being exposed to HIV:

• Being faithful with a partner who is also faithful

• Abstinence

• Always use protection (condoms) in sexual encounters

• Avoid the use of illicit intravenous drugs

The Public Health Department would also like to use this opportunity to remind the public that free HIV screening is offered year-round, each third Tuesday in the month at the Cayman Islands Red Cross from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. 

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