Portsmouth and surrounding northern communities are being given an opportunity to participate in this year’s Fifth anniversary of Regional HIV Testing Day.
Health professionals here will team up with Caribbean HIV Alliance on Friday (June 29, 2012) to conduct HIV testing and counselling, in keeping with regional and worldwide activities focusing on HIV/AIDS.
“This testing day is geared towards getting people to know their status. The HIV/AIDS Unit urges all persons in the North, Vieille Case, Thibaud, Clifton, Capuchin and Penville to come to Portsmouth to get free HIV test,” states a release from the Ministry of Health.
According to the release, Dominica continues to report new cases every year from the island’s productive population.
“Up to the end of 2011 the cumulative number of reported cases stood at 376, more than half of whom have died,” the Ministry confirmed.
Health officials say while the Caribbean remains one of the hardest hit regions in the world by the AIDS epidemic – second only to Sub-Saharan Africa in terms of HIV prevalence – HIV testing is an important part of prevention and treatment efforts.
They are also highlighting the finding that “studies show that those who learn they are HIV positive modify their behaviour to reduce the risk of HIV transmission. Early knowledge of HIV status is also important for linking those with HIV to medical care and services that can reduce morbidity and mortality and improve quality of life”.
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