Free HIV Tests at Lions Fair today

~84 people tested in Middle Region~


St, Maarten AIDS Foundation will be offering free and confidential at the annual Lion Rudy Hoeve Health and Wellness Fair set for tomorrow Saturday at 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”.

The Human Immune-deficiency Virus (HIV) tests involve only a small 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.

Volunteers from the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine will be on hand to help with counseling and testing. Translators will be available for those speaking 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.

With this in mind, the foundation tested 84 persons at the 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. “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 important of knowing you 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’s press release stated.

St. Maarten AIDS 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. The AIDS Foundation offers its rapid confidential HIV tests and pretest counselling free of charge.

The foundation acquires the bulk of its funding 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 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 secretariat or call 553-2626. Also visit the foundation’s website: for more information about services.