PRESS RELEASE:-The 10th Anniversary Regional Testing Day in Jamaica received ringing endorsements from the Minister of Health Dr. Christopher Tufton, the UNAIDS Country Director to Jamaica Manoela Manova and the Executive Director of the Jamaica National Family Planning Board Dr. Denise Chevannes.
The support came on Friday June 30 during testing Day activities at Mandela Park in Half Way Tree St. Andrew. The Minister of Health congratulated LIVE UP: The Caribbean Media Alliance, Scotiabank and the Jamaica National Family Planning Board for the mounting of testing sites not only in Kingston but in Montego Bay, Mandeville and Ocho Rios. He encouraged Jamaicans to get HIV tests regularly because the first line of defense is prevention and advances in technology and medicine mean that a positive result does not mean a death sentence.
The UNAIDS Country Director to Jamaica Manoela Manova, who was also at Mandela Park, said her organization is responsible globally for expanding and accelerating the HIV response with the target of ending HIV AIDS by 2030. She said it is very important for people to start taking HIV tests as a part of regular health checks.
Dr. Denise Chevannes Executive Director of the Jamaica National Family Planning Board, which administered the HIV Tests, stressed that living with HIV in Jamaica and the World today is not a life shrouded by death. She pointed out that it is now possible to treat HIV like any other non-communicable disease through care and medication.
The National Family Planning Board Executive Director underscored the importance of Regional Testing Day because it normalizes the importance of HIV Testing which in turn erodes the fear that many people have. She stressed that a positive HIV result is not the end of the world because there are many people who have lived with HIV for decades.
Regional Testing Day (RTD) celebrated its 10th Anniversary on Friday June 30 when people from 21 countries across the Caribbean were afforded the opportunity to get tested for HIV at over three hundred (300) sites across the region. The aim is to test one hundred thousand (100,000) people across the region during this 10th anniversary year.