SAINT LUCIANS were granted the opportunity to know their HIV status through testing as the Department of Health & Wellness continues to observe World AIDS Day.
The Infectious Diseases Unit in the Department of Health and Wellness recently hosted an outreach activity with the aim of providing an ideal setting for persons to access free rapid HIV testing.
Physician of the Infectious Diseases Unit Dr. Gail Gajadhar expressed hope that this activity will raise awareness about the importance of HIV testing and early HIV diagnosis.
“The purpose of this outreach is to make persons aware that there is rapid HIV testing and in keeping with the theme of “Know Your Status,” we would like everyone to consider “what is their status,” “do I know my status,” “I should want to know my status.” So that’s why we invited persons to come out and get tested.”
Dr.Gajadhar says her unit will continue to encourage Saint Lucians to get tested as to stop the spread of HIV:
“HIV is one sexually transmitted infection. There are other means of contracting HIV, there are other sexually transmitted infections out there. So, we will like persons to be cognizant of the fact that there are sexually transmitted infections out there and to think of when I get it and what we have available to allow them to get tested. So we have our sexually reproductive clinics at the Victoria Hospital and we have other clinics at the wellness centers. They may not specifically be STI clinics, some do and some don’t. But you can always have a chat with your health provider, be it your nurse or doctor to find out what you can do and where you can tested and what test are available.”
The outreach activity offered the services of blood pressure and blood sugar testing, sexual reproductive education and rapid HIV testing. (Department of Health and Wellness)