Daniel Holds Nevis Island’s HIV/AIDS VCT Policy
December 17, 2008
Minister of Health in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) Hon. Hensley Daniel along with the HIV/AIDS unit today conducted Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) sessions for the second time this year to residents of Nevis.
In an interview at his office, the Health Minister gave an overview of the event.
“Here in St. Kitts and Nevis, the purpose of the policy is to standardize the procedural and ethical conditions under which testing for HIV can occur in St. Kitts and Nevis,” he said.
Minister Daniel spoke of the many goals of VCT which included implementing coping and acceptance strategies, promoting planning for future orphan care and preparation, reducing mother to child transmission, normalizing HIV/AIDS and reducing stigma, facilitating referral to social and peer support, enabling preventive therapy and contraceptive advice and promoting early management of opportunistic infections and sexually transmitted infections.
He also spoke of the current services offered to residents of Nevis through the VCT sessions.
“Our VCT services normally include assessing the availability of, designing, implementing and scaling up HIV-VCT services, training counsellors in risk reduction counseling, training laboratory personnel,” he said.
While VCT Day was nationally being celebrated in the federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, residents of Nevis gathered on the grounds of the Administration Building in Charlestown to be tested. The session featured pre and post counselling sessions in addition to HIV testing.
Minister Daniel recorded his gratitude to his team and the general public for their instrumentality in organizing and successfully executing the event.
“I want to commend the HIV/AIDS unit for bringing the service to the fore, second time in a year, and for continuing to push the idea that people must know their status.
“I want to thank all those persons who have responded so far, thank our workers and I believe that with this continued engagement it will help us to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS overtime,” Minister Daniel said.