AIDS Foundation tests 89 on Caribbean testing day

PHILIPSBURG–Eighty nine persons learnt their HIV status during the St. Maarten AIDS Foundation free and confidential testing held on Caribbean Regional HIV Testing Day on Saturday, June 24.

The Foundation held the testing day as part of its collaboration with Scotiabank, the Caribbean Media Alliance and the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP).

A total of 89 persons were tested at the event. This was the 10th 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, it was stated in a press release on Monday.

Several partnerships made the testing day possible. St. Maarten AIDS Foundation teamed up once again with the American University of the Caribbean (AUC) School of Medicine, whose physicians-in-training conducted client intake and tests. A group of the Foundation Youth Wing members and volunteers were also on hand to ensure a smooth operation. French St. Martin organisation AIDES was also present with its 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 release said.

The bank and the AIDS Foundation are still promoting “Stronger Together Red Ribbon Campaign.” The foundation said the fundraising effort is essential to its work and its ability to keep offering free HIV tests to the public.

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 in St. Maarten. To make a donation e-mail, 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 counselling and tests, visit the secretariat or call 553-2626. Also visit the Foundation’s website: for more information about its services.

Source: The Daily Herald