BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — Officials from the National AIDS Secretariat in St. Kitts and Nevis are inviting persons to learn their HIV status by attending the “Operation Safe Streets, Safe Sheets” at the Independence Square on Friday, February 12. There will be free Rapid HIV testing and participants will earn their “lover’s license” just in time for Valentine’s Day, which is celebrated globally on February 14 each year.
“On this busy highway called love, accidents can and will happen, especially around this period where everyone is expressing love,” said Health Educator/Counsellor, Mrs. Lucine Pemberton-Vaughan.
“The National Aids Secretariat is committed to reducing and illuminating such accidents through ‘Operation Safe Streets, Safe Sheets.’
“It is a drive giving many people the opportunity to know one’s HIV status,” she said. “If you know your status, you could not only protect yourself, you can protect the other person. When we rid our streets of STIs, specifically HIV, we are ensuring that our sheets are safe.”
‘Operation Safe Streets, Safe Sheets,’ is broken down into four parts with the first step centred on education.
“At this step, counsellors are going to do a very good job, they will answer all your questions, clear up any myths, any understandings and put you at ease,” said Mrs. Pemberton-Vaughan.
The second step is the examination process that is referred to as FERC. FERC she says is the acronym for “Free, Easy, Reliable, and Confidential.”
Demonstration is the third stage where the safety officers will explain and demonstrate the process of using certain tools such as male and female condoms, and lubricants.
“The final step is certification, during which you go by your secretary, she stamps your rider’s license (lover’s license), with the official seal of the Ministry of Health,” concluded Mrs. Pemberton-Vaughan.