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Know your status – North Leeward MP

Know your status – North Leeward MP

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Member of Parliament for North Leeward Patel Matthews says he wants his constituents to be comfortable when dealing with HIV/AIDS and other health matters.{{more}} To emphasize his point, the first term MP invited SEARCHLIGHT to witness as he took his Rapid HIV Test last Tuesday, at the testing and counselling centre at the Chateaubelair hospital. The test was conducted by staff nurse Weslyn McKie, one of the two HIV/AIDS counsellors and testers at the hospital. It took approximately 15 minutes for the results to be returned, but Matthews was subjected to counselling sessions before he took the test and after he received his results. Matthews, who emphasized that the test is free, said it is important for people to get to know their status and protect their loved ones and themselves, as HIV/AIDS does not discriminate.

“Now that carnival is gone and if you have been a little reckless, as is human, I suggest you wait for a three-month period before you get tested”, Mathews implored.

Staff nurse Mc Kie said that the centre has been in existence for a while now, but because of the absence of kits and some other components, no regular testing was done; however, rapid testing had been done from time to time, in conjunction with the National HIV/AIDS Secretariat and the Ministry of Health and the Environment as part of the national campaign, as recently as a month ago.

While at the facility, Matthews also had his blood pressure and blood sugar readings taken; he smilingly reported that everything was in good order. The MP said that he is pleased that the hospital is staffed with professionals who attended the local secondary schools, and that he is always impressed with the cleanliness of the facility.

Matthews also said that this summer, young people should make sure that they get tested and that they register to vote. “After all, you owe it to yourself,” he said.(TY)

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