by Linda Straker
Having lost her mother due to HIV complications, young Kahdija Logie who will be representing the parish of St Patrick in the upcoming National Carnival Queen Show believes that everyone, especially young people, should make it their duty to know their HIV status.
“That is why I am encouraging all sexually active persons to make use of the opportunity that will be available on the Regional Testing Day and get to know their HIV status,” said Logie who will also be encouraging by example, and will take the test so she knows her own status.
“Lots of young people are very sexually active and not engaging in safer sex practices, so this is an opportunity for them to know their HIV status,” she said, while calling for more public education about sexual transmitted infectious targeting young people.
As a person affected by HIV, Logie said that though her mother died in 2010, in the immediate aftermath, as a young student she was faced with lots of discriminatory behaviour. “People, not little children, used to say all kinds of things. I regularly faced mistreatment, even when I was in school. This has impacted me in different ways. While I was able to rise above this, not everyone will be like me, and so I want to see more emphasis be placed on educating people about HIV,” she said.
“That education is to make people become very conscious about sexual transmitted infections, and life-changing possibilities when safer sex is not practiced,” she said.
A project of Scotiabank, Regional Testing Day will be on Friday, 24 June — HIV testing will be done throughout the island at various locations. It is undertaken in collaboration with the Ministry of Health.
Persons tested on that day will get to know their result within 2 weeks. Anyone diagnosed with the virus will immediate receive the necessary counseling and care support.