Free & Confidential HIV testing in Simpson Bay

POSTED: 11/3/14 7:47 PM

GREAT BAY- St. Maarten AIDS Foundation will hold a Free & Confidential HIV Testing event today at Sister Regina Primary School in Simpson Bay. Testing will be held from 10am to 3pm and is open to the general public.

“As always, all it requires is a small finger prick.”  The tests are anonymous and linked to the person only by a one-time identifier, and return results with only a 15-minute waiting time. Volunteers from the American University of the Caribbean will assist with pre-test counseling and testing, and Spanish and Creole translators will be on hand throughout the day.

This is the fourth public testing day this year hosted by the AIDS Foundation and the first to take place in Simpson Bay. “We aim to visit each district on the island to make sure that people have somewhere convenient to get tested for HIV. We are thankful to the staff and teachers at the Sister Regina School for lending us the facilities and we are hopeful that the people in the neighborhood come out in numbers to take advantage of this free programme,” said foundation President Dr. Gerard van Osch.

“HIV testing is still key in our prevention efforts. People that find out that they are negative get advice on how to stay negative, and those that are find out to be positive can start taking steps to ensure that they stay healthy,” said Van Osch.

On behalf of the foundation board, staff and volunteers, Van Osch congratulated fellow board member Rajesh Chintaman on his induction as a Paul Harris Fellow in recognition of his decade-long volunteer work with the AIDS Foundation and Bishop Ellis Foundation. “It is dedication to volunteerism and HIV/AIDS awareness like that shown by Rajesh that has led to much advances in the country in HIV/AIDS work,” said Van Osch.

The AIDS Foundation reminds the public that HIV testing is also available at the AIDS Foundation office in Cole Bay Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday mornings from 9am to 12pm. For further information, call +588 4636 or +553 2626, or consult the Foundation’s Facebook page: facebook.com/sxmaidsfoundation.

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