GREAT BAY – The St. Maarten Aids Foundation marked the Caribbean regional HIV testing day last Saturday, by offering free and confidential HIV tests as part of its collaboration with Scotiabank, the Caribbean Media Alliance, and the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and Aids (PANCAP). Volunteers tested 89 St. Maarten and St. Martin residents.
This was the tenth year for the Caribbean Regional HIV Testing Day, with the theme ““RU+ UR-” (are you positive you are negative), which is aiming to get people to actively participate in knowing their HIV status and to encourage their loved ones to do the same. This year 21 Caribbean territories participated in the initiative.
Several partnerships made the testing day possible. The Aids Foundation teamed up with the American University of the Caribbean (AUC) Medical School, whose physicians-in-training conducted client intake and tests. An enthusiastic group of the foundation’s youth wing members and volunteers were also on hand to ensure a smooth operation. French-side organization AIDES was also present with their fully equipped van, offering additional testing capabilities.
Scotiabank remains a key partner of the Aids Foundation, not only by providing a central location for testing events throughout the year, but also in raising funds to support HIV/Aids awareness efforts. The bank and the Aids Foundation are still promoting “Stronger Together Red Ribbon Campaign.” This fundraising effort is essential to the foundation’s work and its ability to keep offering free HIV tests.
In addition to community outreach days, HIV testing is available at the Aids Foundation secretariat in the Sun Building across from Tropicana Casino in Cole Bay. The foundation is the only entity offering HIV/STI prevention education outreach and care/treatment support for persons living with HIV/Aids on the Dutch side of the island.
The Foundation acquires the bulk of its funding from community and corporate donations for its testing and awareness activities. To make a donation, e-mail email@example.com or make a direct deposit at Scotiabank account numbers 7223 (US dollars) and 7221 (guilders) in the name of “Stronger Together HIV/AIDS Campaign.”
For HIV counseling and tests, visit the secretariat or call 553 26 26, or visit the Foundation’s website: www.sxmaidsfoundation.org for more information about its services.
Source: TODAY http://today.sx/local-news/aids-foundations-conducts-dozens-free-hiv-tests/