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Nov 23

WORLD AIDS DAY 2018 HIGHLIGHTS THE IMPORTANCE OF “KNOWING YOUR STATUS”

Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 23, 2018 (SKNIS): The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis joins the International Community once again, to observe World AIDS Day 2018 on December 01, under the theme; “Know Your Status: Get Tested.”

The Ministry of Health, in commemoration of World AIDS Day will be having a number of activities to increase awareness on HIV testing, the benefits of testing, as well as to increase the number of persons getting tested for 2018.

National AIDS Programme Coordinator in the Ministry of Health, Mrs. Gardenia Destang-Richardson said that the Ministry is working to support the UNAIDS 90-90-90 initiative and encourages all persons to get involved by promoting and applying safer sex practices to reduce the number of HIV infections and achieve the ultimate goal of ending AIDS by 2030.

The UNAIDS 90-90-90 initiative states that by 2020, 90 percent of all people living with HIV will know their status, 90 percent of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy and 90 percent of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.

The week of activities to observe World AIDS Day will run from December 01 – 07. The activities will begin with the Minister of Health’s World AIDS Day address on December 01; Leaders Forum on December 04; Work Place and Key Population Testing on December 05 and 06, and General Testing Day on December 07.  Faith-based Organisations are encouraged to take the opportunity on December 01 and 02 to speak with their congregants on topics of HIV and to support prevention, testing and persons living with HIV.

The general public is advised that the persons administering the HIV Rapid tests are trained and certified by the Ministry of Health and all information received is kept private and confidential. The HIV test is fast, reliable and results are returned in just about 15 minutes.

World AIDS Day is held on December 01 each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to remember those who have died from the disease.  World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day, held in 1988.

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