T&T warns against home kits to test for HIV/AIDS

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – The Ministry of Health here has urged people not to use HIV home testing kits to determine whether or not they are suffering from the HIV/AIDS virus.

In a statement issued Nov. 28, the ministry said it has become aware of the kits are available locally, but advised “members of the public who have
concerns about their HIV status to get tested at a quality assured Ministry of Health testing site.

“Persons using home kits not reviewed and approved by the ministry may lead to self-diagnosis outside of a supportive environment where they can
be linked to clinical services for follow up care for themselves or those that they care about,” the statement noted.

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Last month, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said there are about 11,500 people living with the disease here. He said he was encouraged by
the increase in people going for testing. The global target for eradicating HIV/AIDS is by 2030.

“More and more people have been testing themselves especially as we ramp up the number of testing sites,” Deyalsingh said. “We are doing that
across the country and we are working very closely with the NGOs.”

He said previously there was stigma and discrimination meted out to people with the disease, but that response seemed to have dwindled.

- Edited from CMC.

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