NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (November 29, 2021) — The Nevis Health Promotion Unit (HPU) is urging members of the public to adorn the colour red and join them in an event dubbed “Light up the town,” and a walk on December 01, 2021, in support of those who have been afflicted with HIV/AIDS.
Ms. Shevanee Nisbett, Senior Health Educator, at the Nevis HPU says the event will be held on World AIDS Day on December 01 beginning with a small ceremony from 5:30 p.m. at the #Nevis Nice sign, next to the Artisan Village at Pinney’s. Following at 6 p.m., participants will walk to the Charlestown ferry terminal with red flameless candles which will be provided. Interested persons can register at: https://forms.gle/RBSzX4xgDCgrGAW97 . The theme for World AIDS Day 2021 is “End inequalities. End AIDS. End pandemics.”
Meantime, Ms. Nisbett used the opportunity to address the status of HIV/AIDS on Nevis.
“Our first case was recorded in 1987. The number of recorded cases we have from then until now is at 78. The number of deaths we’ve had from then until now would be 30. Our active cases are 21 and that would be 12 male and 9 female,” she said.
The age ranges of the 21 active cases are: three persons between the ages of 20 and 24 years; one person between the ages of 30 and 34 years; one person between the ages of 35 and 39 years; one person between the ages of 40 and 44 years; one person between the ages of 45 and 49 years; five persons between the ages of 50 and 54 years; four persons between the ages of 55 and 60 years; and four persons who are 60 years and older.
The Senior Health Educator urged persons to continue to get tested because of the importance of knowing their HIV/AIDS status.
Ms. Nisbett also pointed to the provisions made by the Ministry of Health to facilitate those who have contracted the disease.
“The health care facilities that we have in place for persons with HIV or for HIV/AIDS, we have persons who are affected with HIV who are registered, they are offered free treatment from the Ministry of Health, and so that’s an ongoing programme we have that’s manned by our persons who deal specifically with HIV/AIDS, the cases that we have.
“We also have free testing for HIV that is offered at the Health Promotion Unit as well as the health centres and we are asking persons who would like to get tested [to] call your health centre and make an appointment, and of course you could always go to your doctor and ask them to recommend you for HIV testing,” she said.
In addition, the HPU is also offering free condoms. Interested members of the public can access them by making a request at the office which is located in the Ricaldo Caines Building on Prince Williams Street in Charlestown. The unit is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Monday to Friday.