Scotiabank and Ministry of Health To Host HIV Testing Day

Wednesday 22nd, June 2011 / 19:27 Published by

Bahamians will be able to access free HIV testing in Rawson Square this Friday, June 24, through a partnership between Scotiabank and the Ministry of Health in observation of Regional HIV Testing Day on 2011. This initiative is a part of a regional program organized by the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership (CBMP) who will host testing events at Scotiabank branches in fourteen countries across the Caribbean.

“Scotiabank is pleased to partner with Ministry of Health and the National AIDS Programme to help heighten public interest in HIV testing,” said Leah R. Davis, Senior Manager Marketing & Public Relations, Scotiabank. “Supporting the growing program is part our ongoing commitment to raising awareness about HIV/AIDS in The Bahamas.” She stressed, “We are relying on the participation of community leaders to demonstrate the importance of being tested, knowing your status in order to join the fight against the spread of HIV and AIDS.”

Regional Testing Day has expanded from its pilot program three years ago. In 2008, the CBMP on HIV/AIDS and Scotiabank in collaboration with regional Ministries of Health piloted the Caribbean’s first Regional HIV Testing Day in Barbados. This year, the first for The Bahamas, it is expected that 10,000 people will be tested across the region, improving on slightly more than 8,400 persons recorded in 2010 and approximately 5,000 in 2009.

“I congratulate Caribbean media for their committed coverage of this important HIV prevention initiative now in its 4th year,” said Dr. Allyson Leacock, Executive Director, Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership 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 the Ministries of Health, mobilized by PANCAP, is a model of the power of partnership in the response to HIV in our region.”

While the local event takes place on Friday, June 24, this Regional HIV Testing Day will be officially observed on Monday June 27, 2011 to coincide with International HIV Testing Day.

This Friday, in addition to the rapid HIV testing, full health screenings will be provided testing glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Pre and post test counseling will be provided on site. HIV Testing Day takes place on Friday, June 24 at Rawson Square north from 10:00am to 3:00pm.

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