|Free HIV tests June 24 at all Scotiabanks|
|Thursday, 23 June 2011 10:56|
Free HIV testing will be offered June 24 at all Scotiabank branches in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Scotiabank, in partnership with the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership (CBMP), will not only open its doors as a stand-in clinic Friday, but will circulate information and offer support on the disease.
The clinics will be held at Scotia Centre Branch on Cherokee Road and Grace Bay Centre Branch in Providenciales, as well as Dillon Hall in the Anglican Church on Pond Street in Grand Turk.
Trained personnel from the Ministry of Health and Human Services will conduct free testing clinics and provide counseling services for individuals who are tested.
“Scotiabank is pleased to partner with CBMP to help heighten public interest in HIV testing,” said Cecil Arnold, new country head of Scotiabank (Turks and Caicos) Ltd. “Supporting the growing program is part of our ongoing commitment to raising awareness about HIV/AIDS in the communities where we work and live.”
CBMP, established in 2006, connects 100 top Caribbean broadcasters to coordinate a media response to the HIV pandemic. This partnership aims to share information and resources between broadcasters and expands HIV/AIDS-related programming and public education activities across the Caribbean.
“I congratulate Caribbean media for their committed coverage of this important HIV prevention initiative now in its fourth year,” said Dr. Allyson Leacock, executive director of CBMP on HIV/AIDS. “This unique collaboration, conceived by the CBMP with media mounting a month-long campaign; the exemplary support from the private-sector in Scotiabank offering its locations as some of the testing sites; and the delivery of the technical expertise of Voluntary Counseling and Testing by the public sector through Ministries and Departments of Health, mobilized by PANCAP, is a model of the power of partnership in the response to HIV in our region.”
This HIV/AIDS awareness event has been dubbed the Regional Testing Day Campaign and has grown two-fold since its pilot program inception three years ago.
In 2008, the CBMP and Scotiabank, in collaboration with regional Ministries of Health, introduced the Caribbean’s first Regional HIV Testing Day in Barbados. In 2010, more than 8,400 people from 16 countries across the Caribbean were tested for HIV at Scotiabank branches and other locations. This number was up from 2009, when approximately 5,000 people participated.
This year’s Regional Testing Day officially launched in Kingston, Jamaica, on May 27. Approximately 10,000 people from across the Caribbean are expected to be tested during this year’s campaign. The 14 participating territories are Anguilla, Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, TCI and U.S. Virgin Islands.
According to the Joint United Nations Programme on AIDS, there are approximately 240,000 people in the Caribbean living with HIV, and an estimated 12,000 people died AIDS-related deaths in the Caribbean in 2009.
|Last Updated on Friday, 24 June 2011 06:50|
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