Free HIV testing in Middle RegionPOSTED: 02/22/16 11:57 AM
HIV tests are simple and confidential. Photo contributed
St. Maarten News – The St. Maarten Aids Foundation is making Middle Region its first stop for this year’s community outreach with free and confidential HIV testing today at the Sister Marie Laurence School. Testing is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Getting tested regularly and knowing your status is one way of reducing the impact of HIV/Aids on the community while protecting yourself and loved ones from getting the virus that causes Acquired Immune-Deficiency Syndrome (Aids) .
Testing involves only a small finger prick and results are available within 15 minutes. Tests are anonymous and linked to the person only by a one-time identifier.
A group of volunteers that include doctors in training from American University of the Caribbean, foundation members, supporters and some youth members will be in the area facilitating the testing day event. Spanish translators will also be on hand throughout the day.
The foundation urges everyone to make an effort to get tested and reminds the public that HIV testing is also available at the Aids Foundation office in Cole Bay.
The foundation, with its secretariat in the Sun Building across from Tropicana Casino in Cole Bay, 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.
While the bulk of the foundation’s funding come from community and corporate donations a major donation generator is the annual Stronger Together/Red Ribbon fundraising campaign carried out in collaboration with Scotiabank.
To make a donation, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.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 counseling and tests, visit the secretariat or call 553-2626. Also visit www.sxmaidsfoundation.org for more information about services.