Day of HIV testing dubbed a success
Stabroek News
November 18, 2006

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The National Day of HIV testing held countrywide yesterday was dubbed a success as a result of strong support from persons in Georgetown, West Coast Berbice, Linden, Bartica and the hinterland.

Preliminary results last night revealed that counsellors and testers at VCT fixed sites in these areas worked throughout the day.

The mobile unit that was operating along the East Coast also serviced East Bank Demerara after requests were made.

Deborah Success, Coordinator of Voluntary Counselling and Testing, Ministry of Health (VCT) last evening said the response was favourable in many areas she checked with. She noted that sites such as the National AIDS Programme (NAPS) Secretariat and the Dorothy Bailey Centre did in excess of 100 tests.

Success said a fisheries company located on the East Bank of Demerara contacted the Ministry yesterday and requested the mobile unit to test close to 80 staff members. According to her, such support was what made the day a triumph.

In addition she noted that companies such as the Guyana Telephone & Telegraph (GT&T) and the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission supported the day and contributed to its successful outcome.

"I was particularly impressed with the persons who turned out and did not turn away when we told them about the brief waiting period for results. Persons sat and waited and not a single person complained", Success related.

Though overall results would not be known for another few days Success said the day was successful in that NGOs across the country were able to mobilize people to get tested. She said the support from the private sector was also very instrumental in the objective being realized.

The National Day of Testing was intended to encourage people to know their status and to help erase the stigma attached to getting tested for HIV. It was one of the activities planned for World AIDS Day to be observed on December 1, 2006. (Iana Seales)