Free HIV tests at Lions Fair today

~84 tested in Middle Region~

PHILIPSBURG–St. Maarten AIDS Foundation will be offering free and confidential HIV tests at the annual Lion Rudy Hoeve Health and Wellness Fair today Saturday, March 12, at the St. Maarten Festival Village from 9:00am to 4:00pm.

The Foundation’s yearly participation in this event ties in with a plan to “take testing to the people,” it was stated in a press release issued on Friday. The Human Immune-deficiency Virus (HIV) tests involve a finger prick, with results available within 15 minutes. All information collected is treated as confidential and throughout the process the person being tested remains anonymous, the Foundation said in the release.

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Volunteers from the American University of the Caribbean (AUC) School of Medicine will be on hand to help with history taking and testing. Translators will be available for persons who speak Spanish and Haitian Creole.

“Understanding that every adult and every sexually active person should get tested at least once a year to ensure that they know their status is a core goal of the Foundation. With knowing your status it is possible to negate the impact of HIV,” the release said.

The Foundation tested 84 persons at its first 2016 testing event, which was held in Middle Region at Sister Marie Laurence School on Saturday, February 20. Fifty-four men and 30 women were tested. The results of the testing were not released.

“It was great. We saw men and women bringing their partners and friends to get tested. We, as a society have grown and are very much aware of the importance of knowing your status. This proves that we need to continue our testing initiative. Also the fact that men outnumbered the women was an important development, as traditionally men are more reluctant and less likely to get tested,” the Foundation said in the release.

To make a donation to support the Foundation’s activities e-mail: info [AT] sxmaidsfoundation [DOT] org 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 St. Maarten AIDS Foundation Secretariat or call 553-2626. Also visit the foundation’s website: www.sxmaidsfoundation.org for more information about services.

Source: The Daily Herald Free HIV tests at Lions Fair today

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