The call was made on Tuesday 7th December 2010 during that day’s “Ask the PM” programme.
Dr. Douglas explained to his listening audience that although the Christmas season brings with it reasons for celebrations and merriment, it is necessary to pay keen attention to these issues which, if left unchecked can wreak socio-economic havoc on our society.
“World AIDS Day was less than one week ago on 1st December. Even more importantly National AIDS Testing Day is just a few days away, 15th December and it is my hope that all adults male and female alike will make a point of being tested and knowing each one’s status.”
Dr. Douglas assured that AIDS tests are “always confidential” and noted that because of this, persons need to fear that their private information would reach into the public domain. He however reminded that knowing ones HIV/AIDS status is of utmost importance and that retroviral treatment is available for those who test positive for the virus.
“…It is simply very important for everyone to know the status of his health. Just as everyone should know if he has diabetes of hypertension or some other illness, everyone should know if he or she is carrying the AIDS virus as well…In addition to this however, no person of conscience would ever wish to pass the AIDS virus unto another person and so it is essential to get tested since one of the main means of transmission of the AIDS virus is unprotected relations.”
Douglas, Chair for the Pan Caribbean Partnership against HIV and AIDS (PANCAP), informed that since 1980, the Federation has recorded about 310 cases of HIV/AIDS and suggested that the people and government must collaborate “to stop the spread of this illness; first by all adults stepping forward to go and get tested and secondly, by all adults being especially careful where their private activities are concerned and beyond that, by ensuring that certain protection and precautions are always in place.”
“St. Kitts and Nevis has an abundance of doctors, nurses and health care practitioners. Any of them will gladly explain anything pertaining to this topic that anyone would find confusing or even embarrassing so I urge you please do not hesitate to ask.”