While the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic continues to dominate the headlines, the Cayman LGBTQ Foundation would like to take the opportunity to remind the public that another pandemic still also continues, that of HIV/AIDS. On 1st December, the world will unite in the fight against HIV/AIDS, to show support for people living with HIV and to commemorate those who have passed away from an AIDS-related illness.
Noel Cayasso-Smith, Founder and President of Cayman LGBTQ Foundation and also President of Cayman AIDS Foundation, said it was important for people to show support for people living with HIV/AIDS.
“Great scientific strides have been made in the fight against HIV/AIDS, yet there are still millions of people worldwide who live with HIV/AIDS and a number of those people live in Cayman,” he said. “World AIDS Day is important because it is a timely reminder that HIV is still prevalent even within the Cayman community and we still need to increase awareness, fight prejudice and improve education when it comes to this disease.”
The world has a goal to end HIV and AIDS by 2030 and Mr Cayasso-Smith says people in the Cayman Islands have access to excellent medical facilities and can easily get tested if they feel the need to, an important tool in the fight to eradicate the disease.
“It is well-known that countries that have the best healthcare systems as well as progressive laws and policies and where people are most likely to have access to effective HIV services see the best outcomes against HIV. We are very fortunate here in Cayman to have access to first-class healthcare services,” he advised.
Mr Cayasso-Smith urged anyone who felt the need to get tested to do so. The process is private and confidential and simply requires a small blood sample which will then be tested.
“Knowing your HIV status is extremely important as it will then help you to get the correct treatment and also protects others as well,” Mr Cayasso-Smith said.
Cayman’s Health Services Authority provides a testing service. Book an appointment to get tested by contacting Laura Elniski at firstname.lastname@example.org or 244-2507, or Health Promotion Officer Therese Prehay at 244-2632.