Ministry of Health to Observe Regional Testing Day
The National HIV and AIDS Response Programme (NHARP) of the Ministry of Health (NHARP) will on Friday June 27, observe Regional Testing Day, under the theme “Men on Board: Getting to Zero”.
The goal is to empower men to be responsible for their sexual health, by encouraging them to take the opportunity to know their HIV status.
It also seeks to motivate men to take steps to reduce their risk of transmitting HIV infections to themselves and their partners.
Every year at this time, the National HIV and AIDS Response Programme (NHARP) collaborates with Scotia Bank to provide testing and counselling for HIV to various sectors of society.
This year the Unit will be concentrating on the male population and has decided to offer this service primarily to men’s groups, given the fact that in Dominica the infection is male-dominated.
Data reveals that 70% of persons living with HIV are males, despite the fact that more females get tested each year.
The NHARP will be offering testing and counselling services at its offices on 21 Hanover Street on that day for those persons from the target population who desire to know their HIV status.
It is hoped that at least 50 men will get tested. Seven health districts will also be providing testing and counselling services to the men in their districts on that day.
The NHARP will also collaborate with a faith-based organization on Saturday, June 28th, 2014.
Testing and counselling will be offered at the People’s Pentecostal Family Church in Goodwill that will serve the men from the congregation as well as men within that vicinity who would be interested in knowing their HIV status.
HIV testing is an important part of prevention and treatment efforts. Studies show that those who learn they are HIV positive modify their behaviour to reduce the risk of HIV transmission.
Regional Testing Day was established as a joint project between Scotia Bank and the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV and AIDS.