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Know Your HIV/AIDS Status .... Do the Test Drive

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Contact: Claudia Monlouis

Thursday, July 6, 2006 – Promoting safe and responsible sexual behaviour during the carnival season is likely to take on new meaning with the commencement of the “ Know your status - do the test drive” on the 10th of July.

The Saint Lucia Medical and Dental Association is spearheading this new initiative using some 40 members of the Association. It was during a press launch of the project on Monday , May 03rd, President of the Medical and Dental Association Dr. Leslie Bishop explained that the $50,000.00 project will be a free service during the month of July.

“Members of the public are encouraged to visit their doctors and dentists for VCT and the rapid HIV test. At the visit the doctor and dentists will 1. Discuss HIV/AIDS. 2. The doctor will assess and discuss with the patient their risk and ways of reducing their risks, 3. Discuss the HIV test. 4.Discuss what will happen after the result is positive or negative. 5.The test will be done if the patient agrees 6. The patient will be given the test the same day within 15 minutes And the patient will be given advise based on the result.”

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Stephen King underscored the support of the Ministry of Health for the project. “ And I want to say that the ministry's policy with regards to this whole negotiation is one not just dealing with HIV but more dealing with systems”

Meantime the Medical and Dental Association will be hosting another workshop for its membership on Saturday, in order to fully prepare them for implementing the project.

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