HIV-AIDS testing resumes on Valentine’s day after a two-year drop in testing brought on by the COVID pandemic

The National AIDS Secretariat will be offering free HIV-AIDS testing on Valentine’s Day, Monday, February 14, for persons interested in knowing their health status.

Testing will take place at the HIV-Prevention Unit on Long Street between 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This opportunity comes after it was revealed, last year, that the COVID-19 pandemic had impacted the testing regime – largely because of the public-safety restrictions.

Oswald Hannis, an HIV Counselor and Educator at the Secretariat, said, then, that from 2020 into 2021, there was a significant reduction in testing and arriving at new diagnoses.  This had reduced the Office’s ability to recommend positive persons for treatment and management.

Next Monday, the Secretariat says, persons who come in for testing will receive complimentary drinks on entry, as well as grab-and-go refreshments.

There will be many more prizes, as well as gift baskets on sale.

The Secretariat continues to encourage residents not to be careless when it comes to sexual encounters.

Fewer than 1,000 people in Antigua and Barbuda are now living with HIV, and statistics from the Secretariat reveal that women outnumber men, though not by much, in infections.