The Virgin Islands Department of Health is recognizing National HIV Testing Day under this year’s theme “Doing It My Way.” The day was first observed on June 27, 1995. It is a day to encourage people to get tested for HIV, know their status, and get linked to care and treatment.
This year’s theme, “Doing It My Way,” highlights how and why people make testing part of their lives — on their terms and in their way. Doing It My Way encourages individuals to share their personal testaments of why testing is important, what motivates them to get tested and stay healthy, and how they get tested — be it at home, at the clinic, or with the company of a friend or loved one.
HIV testing is recommended as part of routine health care, yet many Americans are not being tested as often as advised. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in seven people living with HIV in the U.S. today are unaware of their status.
Commissioner Justa Encarnacion, is a strong advocate of individuals getting tested and knowing their status. Encarnacion states “the sooner you know your status, the sooner we can link you to the appropriate treatment and care.” The commissioner also states that HIV is no longer a death sentence, and in collaboration with our local and federal partners, the Virgin Islands have a robust and comprehensive system to ensure individuals infected with HIV receive the appropriate care.
On Thursday, June 27, in collaboration with Frederiksted Health Care, The Village and St. Thomas East End Medical Center. Some of the actives that the Department of Health will host include
Thursday, June 27
• Testing in Christiansted by the market from 10 am to 3 pm
• Testing at all Frederiksted Health Care sites
• Testing at the Village Prevention Office in Richmond
• Testing at the Knudd Hansen Clinic on St. Thomas, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
• Testing at Cloud 9 club during “Ladies Night,” 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Saturday, June 29
Testing at Starlight Lounge 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.
The Virgin Island Department of Health, Frederiksted Health Care, The Village and St. Thomas East End Medical Center encourages everyone to “do it your way” and take advantage of the free testing opportunities.