Free HIV testing in St. Peters area planned for Saturday

~ Stronger Together Red Ribbon Campaign is still in full swing~

As part of a community outreach programme, St. Maarten AIDS Foundation will host a free and confidential HIV testing day in St. Peters on Saturday, October 22 from 10:00am to 4:00pm at Rupert I Maynard Community Centre.


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President of the foundation, Dr. Gerard van Osch said people should not miss this opportunity to ‘know your status’. "Knowing the status reassures you that you are not infected with HIV and strengthens your commitment to stay safe."

Receiving HIV result give a new opportunity to renew dialogue with your partner about safer sex practices. "And of course early detection of HIV help keep those infected healthy for a longer period of time. Very effective treatment (not a cure) is available on St. Maarten, so indeed knowing your status is important to staying healthy," van Osch said.

The testing is free, anonymous and confidential. Only numbers are used to match the results, at no point names are use and this allows for a high level confidentiality, the doctor said. A short pre-test counselling session helps to give advice on safer sex practices as well as determining if or when people should repeat a test.

Although, this testing day will be held in the community of St. Peters, the foundation encourages anymore from neighbouring communities and the entire island to stop by for a test.

The foundation reminds everyone that the Scotiabank, St. Maarten AIDS foundation Stronger Together Red Ribbon Campaign is still in full swing and urges everyone to contribute by buying a raffle ticket for a Chevrolet Spark and or by simply making a donation to the campaign using the campaign’s red ribbons that are available at Scotiabank locations.

Testing days and the foundation’s many projects are made possible by donations to the Stronger Together Red Ribbon Campaign. Contributing to the campaign makes valuable input to very important community initiatives in the response to HIV/AIDS in St. Maarten.