Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 28, 2016 (SKNIS): Abstinence is the key message in the first activity that forms part of this year’s World AIDS Campaign as hosted by the National AIDS Secretariat in the Ministry of Health and being held under the theme “Hands Up for HIV Prevention.”

The event, which is dubbed High School Abstinence Drive, is designed for the students of secondary schools in St. Kitts and runs from November 28 to 30, 2016. A Health Educator from the Ministry of Health will go into the schools and encourage students to abstain from sexual activity as it is the only sure way of preventing HIV transmission that is passed through sex. Students will be given various reasons as to why abstinence is best at their age, to not only prevent the transmission of HIV, but also positively impact other aspects of their lives. Counsellors will be undertaking similar activities in several schools. The Secretariat also requested permission from the Ministry of Education for students to wear red shirts on December 01, which is commemorated internationally as World AIDS Day.

November 30 will also feature the guest appearance of the St. Kitts National AIDS Programme Coordinator, Gardenia Destang-Richardson, on WINNFM’s Breakfast Show from 9 a.m. There will also be a call-in segment for listeners to ask their questions.

National Testing Day is scheduled for December 01 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Ministry of Health’s Parking Lot at Bladen Commercial Development, directly across from the St. Kitts Credit Union Headquarters. All are invited to get their free and confidential HIV test.

Another highlight of the World AIDS Campaign activities is a Condom Drive. This takes place on December 02 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Independence Square, Basseterre. It will feature the distribution of condoms, condom placement demonstrations, as well as the distribution of material and literature pertaining to HIV/AIDS. This is being done in an effort to promote the condom as the most effective barrier method in preventing the transmission of HIV during sexual activity. Limited HIV testing will also be available upon request.