Two new cases of HIV have been reported so far this year in the British Virgin Islands, and the persons with the virus are both young, said Chief Nursing Officer with responsibility for family health Jascinth Hannibal.
She stated that four cases were reported last year, and her unit will concentrate its efforts on providing more outreach to young people.
“We want to push abstinence and, if they cannot be abstinent, we want them to stick to one faithful partner and use a condom every time, consistently and correctly with every sexual experience,” said Hannibal.
She noted that many circumstances can increase the vulnerability of young persons acquiring HIV.
Hannibal said young persons are sometimes pressured into having sex before they are ready, adding that a survey completed in 2009 showed most people’s first sexual experience was not consensual. She further stated that, in both male and female cases, it was usually with someone older.
Hannibal, in the meantime, said Caribbean Regional Testing Day will be held on June 29, and residents will have opportunities to be tested to know their status.
“Everybody should get tested at least once if they are between the ages of 15 and 65,” Hannibal said.
“Everybody should know their status. So, if you have never been tested before in your life, this is your opportunity to get tested for free. Make 2017 the year that you know your status.”
Free testing is being offered at the Family Health Unit on the second floor of Betitto Frett Building, next to Banco Popular.
Residents are also asked to note that free testing will be done at the following dates and time:
Friday, June 23, at Pussers in West End between 4pm and 8pm
Thursday, June 29, at Scotia n the Valley area of Virgin Gorda from 10am to 2pm
Friday, June 30, testing continues at the Fisherman’s Jamboree at Beef Island between 10am and 3pm, and at the Backyard on Anegada from 8pm.
Friday, July 7, at the BVI Health Services Authority’s Job and Career Fair at the Catholic Community Centre from 9:30am to 2:30pm.
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