HEALTH: Screening, a necessity in the fight against HIV


As part of World AIDS Day on December 1, the AIDES association and its partners conducted a week of awareness-raising, prevention and screening, multiplying actions in the neighbourhoods. Throwback to these few very busy days.

Although the findings remain alarming with 459 HIV-positive patients in Saint-Martin and a third of new patients diagnosed positive, sometimes with an advanced stage of the disease preventing them from benefiting from early treatment, it is essential to remember that if a person with AIDS takes its treatment, the virus is undetectable, therefore this person no longer transmits HIV. 95% of HIV-positive patients present in the territory of Saint-Martin and following their treatment are undetectable. Regular testing is essential to stem the HIV epidemic, as well as awareness and prevention campaigns. The AIDES association works on a daily basis in this process. From November 28 to December 2, 2022, the entire AIDES team got down to carrying out free screening actions for HIV, hepatitis B & C and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), with, among other things, the reinforcement the Red Cross and the Louis-Constant Fleming Hospital Center. Demonstrations open to the general public were held in several areas of the territory: in Quartier d'Orléans, at the Agrément roundabout, whose Lady Liberty status was adorned with the red ribbon which has become the universal symbol of the fight against AIDS and solidarity with people who are affected, in Marigot in the parking lot of the Collectivity, at the Concordia hospital, at Sandy Ground but also at the Gustavia dispensary in Saint-Barthélemy on Wednesday, November 30. In total, the AIDES association will have carried out 38 screenings in its equipped mobile bus, the “Trodibus”, and the Red Cross has counted 50 HIV and STI screenings thanks to its health bus. At the Louis-Constant Fleming hospital center, requests for screening were more timid with about twenty, but the team did not lack effort by offering Zumba animations between information sessions. The energy invested by all the actors during this week of screening is remarkable, the awakening of the population to fight against AIDS must be accompanied by a real political will for access to treatment, everywhere, and to all. Worldwide, a woman is infected with HIV every two minutes. Worldwide, one person dies of HIV every minute. Getting tested also means protecting others. _Vx

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