Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 29, 2017 (SKNIS): Everyone that participates in Friday’s (June 30) Regional Testing Day (RTD) in St. Kitts and Nevis will dip to receive a prize ranging from cell phone top ups to dinner vouchers at some of the finest restaurants to tickets on the scenic railway. However, National AIDS Coordinator, Gardenia Destang-Richardson, said persons should get tested because it is the right thing to do.
“Incentives are used only in special occasions during promotional campaigns,” said Mrs. Destang-Richardson. The 10th year anniversary of RTD, which will reportedly be observed by 21 countries in the Caribbean with a target of testing 100,000 people for HIV/AIDS, is certainly one of those special occasions.
However, the senior health official noted “just the fact that you want to know, you want to be healthy should be the incentive for you to get tested.”
Persons who take the time on Friday to get tested at the temporary stations at Independence Square, or the parking lots of Best Buy, Buckley’s, or RAMS, Bird Rock, in Basseterre or in front of the Nevis Island Administration building in Charlestown, will find a quick and easy process with a high level of professionalism and confidentiality. After a small amount of blood is tested the results will be available in just 12 minutes. The National AIDS Coordinator said she also would like to see persons making wiser lifestyle decisions.
“Really and truly we try to encourage persons to take responsibility for their health, not just their sexual health, Mrs. Destang-Richardson explained. “Go have your annual physical and part of that should be your HIV test.”
Health officials are hoping to test 1,000 persons for HIV in the month of June 2017 – one hundred for each year of RTD. If the public responds the way Mrs. Destang-Richardson hopes, that number will be easily surpassed.