PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — The Ministry of Health Monday 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, the ministry said it has become aware of the kits are now 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.”
Last week, Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh said there are about 11,500 people living with the disease here and that he was also encouraged by the increase in people going for testing which has been encouraging as the global target in eradicating HIV/AIDS was by 2030.
“More and more people have been testing themselves especially as we ramp up the number of testing sites. We are doing that across the country and we are working very closely with the NGOs,” Deyalsingh said.
He said previously there was a lot of stigma and discrimination meted out to people with the disease but this seemed to have dwindled.
In the statement, the Ministry of Health reiterates, that if a person has concerns about his/her HIV status, “please present yourself to a quality assured Ministry of Health testing site for further evaluation”.