Thursday, October 10, 2013

Campus-wide HIV/AIDS testing @ BTVI

KNOW YOUR STATUS – Scores of BTVI students, faculty and staff got to know their HIV/AIDS status on October 8th, following free-testing.  Pictured here testing a student is Registered Nurse, Branishka Lewis, who said The Bahamas is leading the way worldwide in reduction of new cases; she said the country’s rate is down by 34%.

In an effort to strengthen awareness of HIV/AIDS among students, faculty and staff, the Student Affairs Department of The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute (BTVI) held its second-annual campus-wide testing day on October 8th.  According to Student Affairs Coordinator, Mrs. Raquel Bethel, the Know-Your-Status campaign was chiefly to make students more aware of the HIV virus, how it is spread and preventative measures. “We want to remind them to make responsible choices. There are risks involved in unprotected sex,” she said.

On hand to facilitate the free testing were health care workers from the HIV and AIDS Centre of the Ministry of Health, who gave pre and post-test counseling. They were joined by community outreach workers from the President Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Unit - a United States based program. Highlighted was the banana-themed campaign, which promotes safe sex under the message, “Don’t Get Caught Unpeeled.” The confidential testing required a prick of the finger and results were available within 15 to 20 minutes.

PRE-COUNSELING – Health worker, Mr. Emile Lesbott, conducts pre-counseling with BTVI students who were about to take free HIV/AIDS testing during a campus-wide Know-Your-Status campaign.

DON’T GET CAUGHT UNPEELED – Community outreach worker, Andi Baillou, who represents  the United States-based program, President Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), has a lively discussion with BTVI students about HIV/AIDS prevention. He spoke to them about the banana-themed campaign, which promotes safe sex under the message “Don’t Get Caught Unpeeled.”

Ms. Hadassah Hall
Public Relations Officer
The Bahamas Technical & Vocational Institute

Direct line:         502-6376
Switchboard:      502-6300
Twitter:               @BTVI242